My older sister and her family are Mainers. I have visited Swan’s Island every Labor Day since 2009. I am smitten by that place, the seaman’s atmosphere, gorgeous sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean and the sounds of breezes and lapping waves along the shore. Most of all, I am captivated by long walks and heart-felt talks. The people make all the difference. The marker for turning into their quarter-mile wooded drive is a platform that covers their well out next to the island’s paved road. It’s the turning by the well.
One of the visits was just after my nephew married a stunning young woman, and my sister and her husband hosted an island get-together to celebrate the occasion. Many people, many memories, many friendships and many smiles passed my way that glorious Maine evening. That event is the subject of this poem–the beginning of a new marriage and a new family.
It reminded me of the wedding supper of the Lamb. That family get-together with Jesus as the groom and His church as His bride marks a new beginning and a new story to tell for all believers. The followers of Christ, His church, represent the bride. Hosea pictures this union in earthly terms. He speaks of God’s love for His people. “I will betroth you to me forever. I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.” (Hosea 2: 19-20 ESV) God will treat us like a bride forever in righteousness and justice, love and compassion. I’m up for that!
Can you picture it with me?
“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure’—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God.’ (Revelation 19:6-9 ESV)
At the Turning by the Well
There’s a celebration and a new story to tell
At the turning by the well.
Parents of the groom and parents of the bride
Lift high a glass and toast forever.
A journey now begins with a unified endeavor.
Happy couple now surrounded
By those who wish them well.
For there’s a celebration and new story to tell
At the turning by the well.
Dear Lord, the day is coming when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, and we will feast together as your saints, your church and your bride. Father, thank you for your promise that you want everyone to come to a saving knowledge of you and that your true desire is that all be be in attendance at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Some will not choose to come, and you will grant their desire to stay away. But Father, I pray that everyone I know and love, everyone within my circle of influence and everyone who hears this will choose to be there in fine white linen as your bride. I ask for your favor and blessing on my request. I pray in the name and authority of Jesus, according to your good and perfect will. Amen.