The Radiance of the Church

“Who is this who looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, radiant as the sun, awesome as an army with banners?”

— Song of Solomon 6:10

A beautiful description of the church of Jesus Christ was uttered centuries before she was officially inaugurated at Pentecost. Although the Song of Solomon has much to teach about human love between a man and a woman, it is also ultimately the story of the relationship of the heavenly Bridegroom and His earthly bride—the church.

Who is she? We are the bride of Christ. Who is she who looks forth as the morning? In the midst of the blackness of night of despair and death, it is the church that brings the hope of the coming morning.

Even in the Old Testament when darkness still covered most of the earth, God’s people were like the moon—that fair moon that gave borrowed light to a needy and hopeless world…a world that could see nothing beyond that hole in the ground where life had little meaning and no hope.

There was the church (as in God’s congregation), even back then, that was fair as the moon. That is, of course, an idealized picture of the church. Unfortunately, there are many who would be seen merely as pockmarks on that moon; but, nevertheless, that is the picture He draws of the church.

And yet there came a glorious day when the night would fade away. On that bright and marvelous morning when Jesus Christ walked out of the tomb and the darkness of death faded away forever, the church became clear as the sun.

Lord of the church, we thank You, Jesus, for the miracle of the church. We praise You that by Your strength, she has endured through the centuries and will stand triumphant and glorious on the last day as Your beautiful and spotless bride…