Why Are We Here?
The Bible has a curious answer to one of our core existential questions. When we ask, “Why are we here?”, God responds: “To get married!” This is true — and appropriate — whether you are young, old, male, female, already married or single. Let me explain.
I have two nephews who got engaged last summer. One will be married this coming Saturday in Michigan; the other will marry in early June in Buffalo, New York. Despite the complications of trying to pull off a wedding during the COVID era, both they and their prospective brides have been unwavering in their commitment to stick to their chosen dates. Their desire to be married is stronger than their disappointment over small, socially distanced wedding parties and delayed receptions. I applaud them for this!
God has a similarly dogged persistence in keeping after his chosen bride: his people, a.k.a. the church. One doesn’t have to dig too deeply into the Bible before God starts making covenant promises to Abraham and Sarah. The tone and content of these first promises are intimate and marital in nature.
At the foot of Mount Sinai in the wilderness, God proposed that he and his newly freed people make a covenant together. It’s not a stretch to say that this is the Bible’s version of a wedding ceremony between God and Israel. The vows made by the bride are what we now call the Ten Commandments.
In the Book of Hosea, which is really an extended parable on the topic of God’s marriage, Hosea prophecies:
“In that day,” declares the Lord“
you will call me ‘my husband’;
I will betroth you to me forever;
I will betroth you in righteousness and justice,
in love and compassion.
I will betroth you in faithfulness,
and you will acknowledge the Lord. (Hosea 2:16, 19-20)
The New Testament picks up the same marital imagery. Paul, the intensely focused single guy who planted so many of the first churches, puts his desire for their spiritual growth in romantic terms. He writes,
“I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy.
I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure bride to him”
(2 Corinthians 11: 2).
There are so many questions that we don’t have solid reponses for these days. While some answers are hard to come by, I’m convinced that the answer to “WHY are we here?” is clear: “To be married to God.” That’s why he made a universe, an earth, and we humans to begin with. To love us and teach us to love. To be with us. Through it all. ‘Til the end… and beyond.
May God’s persistence to have us give you peace!