Friday, March 25, 2005

Behold the Bridegroom

But at midnight there was a shout, "Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him." -- Matthew 25:6

This is an icon of Christ as Nymphios, The Bridegroom of the soul and of the whole people of God. The irony of the Christian story is that the Bridegroom makes his trip down the aisle to meet us beaten and bloody; says his "I do" as he's being nailed to a cross. If you look at his hands here, you'll see that they're bound loosely; his suffering with us and for us is voluntary, entered into out of love...not some sort of high-minded, ethereal love, but a passionate love that will go anywhere and do anything for us.

Writes Mother Teresa, in the voice of Christ:

I thirst for you. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe my love for you: I thirst for you. I thirst to love and be loved by you -- that is how precious you are to me. I thirst for you. Come to me, and fill your heart and heal your wounds.

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bls said...

That's a beautiful icon. Is that one from the site you recommended awhile back?

I used to dislike the "Christ as bridegroom" thing - maybe because I'd always had an aversion to bridegrooms - but now I love this idea. "The bridegroom of the soul" is a beautiful idea. The sisters wear wedding bands on their right hands; just those who've taken final vows, though. Novices and postulants don't wear them. That's my impression, anyway.

LutheranChik said...

I think this icon is at Come and See Icons , but I actually copied it from another source.

Yeah...the Bridegroom imagery initially didn't do it for me either, for obvious reasons. And at first I thought this was another example of a kind of morbid, over-the-top fascination with Christ's pain and suffering as an end in itself. But the concept started to make sense to me after awhile...especially after I put my own ironic spin on it. I mean...let's face it...I make a pretty dubious Bride of Christ; if I were Christ, I'd double-check the fine print in that ketubah.;-) But he has pretty loose standards when it comes to the people he hangs out with. So if he wants to make an honest woman out of me, who am I to say no?

LutheranChik said...

"At least she can cook.";-)