In Memory of my Daughter
Eva-Marie Elizabeth Lundquist
March 27, 1970 – December 13, 2001
She was born on Good Friday 46 years ago. On Easter Sunday I want to honor her memory with a message inspired by her. You’ll see!
I remember how exciting it was to prepare for my bridegroom! I had met the love of my life on a visit to Sweden. My parents and I were missionaries in Peru and we saw the need for me to have a husband. They were praying that I meet someone that would want to take up mission work together with me in Peru. Close to the end of my visit in my home country, I met Bengt. I could have stayed and traveled together with him to Peru, but I felt responsible for the expanding children’s and youth ministry we had, so I went back to Peru as planned. My Bridegroom was to follow some short months after and we would marry there.
I was in love. I was excited. I couldn’t wait for the arrival of my future husband. I prepared for his coming. I counted the days. When he arrived and we were married, my joy was complete!
WE ARE THE BRIDE OF CHRIST
These last few days God has spoken to my heart about being the Bride of Christ and the imminent return for my Bridegroom. Am I as excited about His Coming as I was when I awaited Bengt’s coming to Peru? Am I preparing myself for the great wedding day? Do I await His Coming every moment of the day? How excited am I?
I have a daughter in Heaven. Among the things I keep as memories, is her first sermon, preached (or just written, I don’t know) when she was 10 years old. It feels like a greeting from the grave, confirming the subject God is speaking to me about.
Sermon by Eva-Marie Lundquist (10 years old)
I want to read from the book of Revelation chapter 21. We who are Christians know that it’s good to have Jesus in our heart. We Christians will see a new heaven and a new earth. You may not understand what I mean by a new heaven and a new earth. When Jesus comes in the sky and takes His Bride home then we will see a new heaven and a new earth.
Those of you who have not received Jesus as your personal friend, you cannot come to the new heaven and the new earth. I can’t even say how exciting it is to have Jesus in your heart! You might think that you have to be healthy to believe in Jesus. But it’s not so. I’m sick and I believe in Jesus.
You must be saved. You can also say that you are born again. I have witnessed since I was 1 year old. Now it’s the first time I will preach. Now let’s turn to the sermon.
I was baptized in Kristianstad in Sweden. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit in Sweden.
The Bride, Carina my little sister said that it’s not so easy to understand it. If we are Christians, we are the Bride that Jesus will come to take home. You cannot be without Jesus. It is the last minute now before Jesus will come and take His Bride home.
If you want to receive Jesus, you can say: Jesus, I want to be yours. I want to get to your heaven. You can do it now. If you want to receive him, you can raise your hand. Then I will pray for you. But you do not have to raise your hand, for Jesus sees you now. Let us pray. If you have been saved now, God sees you every day.
THE TEN VIRGINS
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.
6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.
11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13 ESV
Are we a bride prepared for her bridegroom? Are we ready for the day Jesus will come to take us home? There is going to be a wedding feast.
When I was in Peru preparing for my wedding I was mindful of every detail. First and foremost we had to get permission to get married from the authorities; there was paperwork to be handled. I had to sew my wedding dress, I had to decide who was going to be in the wedding party, I had to make dresses for the girls, I had to rent tuxedos for the boys and the groom. There was the cake to plan and make, together with all the pastries. Three hundred people attended the wedding so it was a big task. Every detail was done with love and expectation!
A BRIDE WITHOUT SPOT OR WRINKLE
Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. –Ephesians 5:25-27
Jesus gave up heavens glories to come to Earth and get his bride. He led a holy and pure life but took on all the sin and shame of the world when he went to the Cross. Jesus gave himself up for the church, so that he might present us –his Bride—in splendor, “without spot or wrinkle or any such thing.” Jesus wants a holy Bride, without blemish.
This is what we as His Bride have to look forward to:
THE MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB
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,
“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
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;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
… Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Revelation 19:6-9 ESV
THE FRAGRANCE OF THE BRIDE
There is a beautiful love story in a short book of the Old Testament, called Song of Songs. Read it as if it was a love story between you and Christ. The Lover longs for her Beloved.
Do you long for Jesus, your Beloved? Are you adorning yourself as a Bride for her Bridegroom?
The Church of Jesus Christ, his Bride, is divided; she is tarnished. There is bickering, anger, jealousy, rudeness and self-seeking going on. How it must pierce our Lovers heart when we as His Bride can’t get along with each other!
I was called this year to write about spreading the aroma of Christ, about the fragrance of his love. I pray that every word that I have chosen to go with this teaching will bring us closer to our Bridegroom. I pray that they will be jewels we adorn ourselves with in preparation for receiving our King and Savior.
Jesus wants to sanctify us through His Word. “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” prayed Jesus before going to the Cross (John 17:17). Love, Kindness, Compassion, Forgiveness, Generosity, Humility, Integrity… These are some of the themes we will study.
Pray that you will have a renewed love for the Bridegroom; that you will prepare for His Coming with anticipation.
Without spot or wrinkle… let those words sink in deep in your soul. Jesus wants to present the church to himself in splendor.
This is a message for young and old. I marvel at the memory of my daughter, who at ten years of age was very aware of being the Bride of Christ, who spoke of the new heaven and the new earth. She is so blessed to now be with Jesus in Paradise!
Let Jesus sanctify you through and through. He is the one who will prepare you to be presented to him in splendor. Fall in love with him over and over. He loves you like no words can tell. He will work in you his Love, Kindness, Compassion, Forgiveness, Generosity, Humility, Integrity…
May we be a Bride prepared for her Bridegroom!