My daughter is getting married, and she wants to wear a veil. In front of her face.
She knows that veils aren’t that common nowadays. It’s probably because at some point people thought that since their faces wouldn’t show up in the photographs, the pictures wouldn’t be good, so it wouldn’t be worth it. But the symbolism of the veil hiding the bride’s face, the veil that the groom has to turn back in order to kiss her . . . that symbolism is rich with meaning. He can now, as her husband, enter a place where he was never allowed before. Now things are different. Now he is welcome. And her eyes will say to him, “Come.”
I remember with crystal clarity a day twenty-one years ago, when this same daughter was two. We sat snuggled together in the big green armchair while I told her Bible stories. I was talking about a different veil. I pointed to the picture of the shocked priest, watching the veil of the temple being ripped from top to bottom. Tears came to my eyes as I explained the symbolism of the tearing of the veil and what that meant Jesus had done for us on the cross: that now we can enter a place, in the presence of God, where we were never allowed before. Little Katy stared up at me with her solemn eyes. She didn’t understand, but that was okay. I understood it better than ever.
This morning our pastor will be preaching about the rending of the temple veil, the shockingly beautiful symbolism springing out of and accomplished by the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is the picture of our bold and joyful entrance into the very presence of God, a place we were never allowed before.
Everything is different. Now we are welcome. Now He says to us, “Come.”