by Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
On the day of my wedding, I went flying with a friend.
It wasn’t just a joy ride, though there were elements of joy riding involved.
Back in the days when I was getting married, there was a tradition that when you drove away after the wedding that people would follow you and try to find out where you were going on your honeymoon. It was all in good fun but at times turned dangerous as people would drive too fast and take too many chances.
I had participated in this ritual in others’ weddings and knew that my friends would also want to do the same thing at our wedding.
So instead, I decided to park my car in another town and have my best man drive me one half mile to a small airport where my friend had an airplane. Thus, we would merely slowly drive to the airport and jump on the plane and fly away. No one would be able to follow us that way.
The plan played out on wedding day: I drove to the other town, parked the car and hopped on my friend’s airplane and flew back to the wedding venue. Everything was going to plan.
But we may or may not have dilly dallied a bit and time was passing.
When I was supposed to be at the church getting dressed and getting ready for pictures, I was instead in an airplane.
Yes, you guessed it.
I was late.
Not to the wedding. But late to the scheduled picture taking time.
My future mother-in-law was a bit worried, and my own parents were wondering what kind of ornery activity I was up to. So yes, I was late to the church. We still managed to get married and this year I will celebrate 40 years of being married to my sweet and patient wife who has put up with my shenanigans through the years.
I do worry, however, for those that may be late to another wedding.
The Bible in Matthew 25 talks about 10 ladies who went to a wedding all dressed up and ready for the bridegroom to come.
Verse 5 says that the bridegroom was delayed and so they all went to sleep waiting for him to come. Verse 3 says that 5 of them were prepared for a longer wait and 5 were not as they expected the bridegroom to not get delayed.
While they all slept, the unprepared ones used up all their resources and when the bridegroom did come they were off looking for more oil and ended up coming late to the wedding and by then the door was shut.
This is why today is the time to be seeking the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and to be seeking renewal daily in our walk with God. This is why we are focusing on church revitalization in this conference. This happens through both personal revival and corporate revival and revitalization together.
Hebrews 10:25 states that we should not forsake gathering together to encourage each other (this is why we found so many alternative ways to “gather” online during the pandemic) and help each other grow spiritually and also states that this is very important as the day of God approaches.
In other words, the Jesus the bridegroom is coming, and we can be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit on a daily basis so that when Jesus comes we can eagerly and with great assurance know that we are known by Jesus and can enter into the great wedding feast.
Please pause often throughout your life and seek the Holy Spirit in your life.
It is the gift that will be sent as we sincerely ask each day. It will lead to your own personal revitalization as well as each church body throughout this conference.
We pray for each member to have that type of covenant relationship with God and for each church to be a growing church that experiences baptisms this year. Furthermore, we are praying for an average of 8 baptisms per church this year.
Will you join us in seeking your own personal revitalization as well as praying for church revitalization as well? Let none of us be late to the greatest wedding celebration ever.