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An Old Shirt


Mischa's finger traced the faded print on my VBS shirt. "Baba, this shirt is old. See? It's broken!" she exclaims as she pointed to cracks in the lettering. Yes, it is an old shirt indeed. Mischa grabs my face and pulls me in to whisper in my ear, "It's okay. Throw it out. I'll buy you a new shirt 💖"

I have a bunch of old shirts because I like how soft and broken-in they are. It's a perfect sleeping shirt. I don't like spending money on a new shirt. Most importantly, almost all my shirts have a story and are sentimental in some way. There's a narrative with each shirt-- ask me next time you see me in a printed tee! It has become the way I express myself. Unfortunately for my wife, the way I express myself through clothing is... unfashionable (which is a fashionable move if you ask me). 

However, this shirt is a little different. It has its own category. I could not make it to VBS that year because Rachel was pregnant with Mischa, so it's special in that aspect. But "VBS" isn't the only acronym on there. Right above it we see "FCBCA." It stands for First Chinese Baptist Church of Atlanta. 

Maybe if it was another year, maybe-- just maybe-- I wouldn't care as much about this old faded shirt. However, this year has been difficult. I. Miss. FCBCA. Today's reading comes from Revelation 19:6-9

6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
7 Let us rejoice and exult 
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
8 it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

9 And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” 

You know how girls like to wear their boyfriend's sweater when they are first dating? The guys look forward to having it back because the sweater smells like the girl they love. It's a silly analogy because it's about the "puppy love" of teenage years which has no roots and full of emotion. But read those verses in Revelation. That isn't a worldly love. It is a divine love-- a perfect love. It's the love that Christ has for His Church. 

With all the difficulty of 2020 and the possibility of 2021 getting worst, we are all longing and yearning for Jesus to return. We daydream of how nice it would be if Jesus could come back and rescue us.

...Don't you think He is doing the same?

Don't you think He wants to come and save His Bride from corrupt governments, pandemics, wars, natural disasters, and others? Don't you know that He is preparing a place for us this very moment with the intention of holding us by His side forever? 

It's difficult to think about because we're so caught up in the news. We wonder why God would allow us to go through this. Simple: because we have strayed from His Word, which is His promise to us. Revelation 19:9 tells us that there will be a marriage supper. While we are sitting in our doubts of His faithfulness, Jesus is putting together an elaborate wedding banquet... for us!   God, forgive us for listening to the lies of the world and of the Devil in telling us that You have forgotten us!!

No, I will not throw out this shirt that has my church's name on it. I know that God never sleeps, but play along with me here: If Jesus wore t-shirts to bed, I'm sure He has one with "FCBCA" on it. 

"Does our God intend to dwell again with us?
He does!"

-Is He Worthy? by Andrew Peterson