I am a MoB – that is the “Mom of the Bride”. One of the most fun things for a MoB is to go with the bride to help pick out her wedding dress. There are nerves and exuberance and a little anxiety about what may or may not be found, what may or may not fit, what may or may not transpire on said outings, and what the price tag will be on the items that spark joy.
Most wedding dresses are white or some version of white. It wasn’t always this way. White actually was associated with mourning, so brides wouldn’t be caught dead in white. Most brides way back when would wear their nicest dress, no matter the color. Occasionally, the family, friends or town would pitch in to adorn the dress a bit. Aristocracy would wear jewel tones embellished with jewels to show their wealth. Then Mary Queen of Scots created great controversy when she boldly wore a white gown in 1558. In 1840 when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert, she wore white with the aim to support British business and trade with her white silks and lace (as did Kate Middleton). This, according to lore, is what began the white dress trend.
When my daughter and her entourage walked in to the first store ready to begin the selection process for just the right frock, she was asked what color she wanted her dress to be. Her reply was “white”. We were then told that they didn’t have any “white” dresses. I smirked a little as I looked at the racks of gowns and thought, “ok, what gives?” They all looked white to me! We learned that they had eggshell, light ivory, blush which was only the under layers, that the lighter ivory was the overlay, but that none, in fact were white. I was thankful my husband opted not to come as he thinks in the 8-pack Crayola Crayon color blocks. Even the 24 pack tends to lose him, but we were way past even the 152 pack at this point.
As my daughter paraded out time after time in the non-white white dresses, my mind drifted a bit to some of the descriptions in the Bible of the garments of angels, and of the Lord Himself. They are all described as simply “brilliant” or “radiant” or “beaming” or “brilliant white” or my all-time favorite description of Jesus’s garb in Mark 9:3 “His garments became radiant and exceedingly white, as no launderer on earth can whiten them.” In scripture, God’s people are sometimes described as having white garments or white robes. Often these people have gone to heaven already and have been given white robes due to their faith and faithfulness to Jesus and their stand for Him, no matter what came against them, while they were on earth.
Here is a narrative speaking of those in white robes as John the disciple is given his Revelation of heaven:
“I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands…Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?” I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said,
This beautiful metaphor alludes to the filth of our sin becoming pure white and righteous when we receive the blood of the lamb of God, Jesus, as our redemption. We are then clothed in white!
Some benefits that come with the white robe:
- Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. – we get to be with Him, in His very presence, forever!
- ‘Never again will they hunger;
- never again will they thirst.
- The sun will not beat down on them,’ nor any scorching heat.
- For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
- ‘He will lead them to springs of living water.’
- ‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’
What a benefits package that come with the clothing! Some of those described with white robes were martyred for their love of Jesus and their desire to speak His hope into a dark world. This is a difficult thing to grab hold of, but God tells us His ways are not our ways and that one day we will understand. But those who stood strong until the end of their earthly lives, are wearing white, and waiting for us to come there to receive our new robes. When we do, the trials and things of this world that don’t make sense, will. And we will receive that robe and eternal joy that cannot be quenched, EVER.
So, when my girl settled on a “diamond white” dress, I figured that she, as the radiant bride, will be wearing her next to best white clothing, and one day…we will celebrate together in our “true white” splendid arrayment before the King of kings.