When Ely and I were dating long distance, one way we decided to make Christmas special was to open advent calendars each day over the phone. I found a cheap chocolate one, and she came up empty at a couple of stores. I promised that I’d get her an advent calendar some other time, and we just used mine.
Before moving to her town in Wisconsin, I made a set of 25 boxes as a Valentines gift. Instead of a Christmas advent, a little gift in each would start on Valentines Day and lead up to my birthday, when I would present her with a ring. Unfortunately, I only finished the boxes, and not a cabinet to put them in. Fortunately, as long as the plan had changed, I might as well put the ring in a earlier box. So, on day 8, we went for a walk in the botanical gardens.
The Domes contain a tropical dome, a desert dome, and a display dome where the plants change from time to time. After sitting on a bench in the first dome, I “remembered” the daily gift box and presented it to Ely. She didn’t really want to carry a little box around the gardens with her, but her annoyance at my “forgetfulness” melted away when she saw me get on one knee.
This is one step towards “What God has joined together, let not man separate.” But the unity in marriage is just a picture of the unity of Christ and the church. We are now experiencing the life changes of new plans, new ways of organizing life, and new levels of love and commitment to each other. And yet, every Christian experienced a transformation of life when they were born again. Our minds continue to be transformed into the mind of Christ, and our depth of commitment to Jesus Christ continues to increase.
I expect the relationship between Ely and I to grow and bring us closer to God. We will be more effective serving together than serving each one singly. But we all should be growing closer to God daily; we all should find ourselves serving more effectively with God’s people than alone. God brought each of us into His Body, the Church. What God unites, let no one separate.