The crowning jewel of the quaint Pennsylvania town that watched me grow from a shy pig-tailed girl into an independent young woman is a historic gazebo situated in the center of Market Square.
Celebrations meriting significance are often held in that lovely white structure. In a tiny borough such events include Veteran’s Day ceremonies, annual coronations of the “Cherry Blossom Queen,” and visits from Santa Claus. I often thought that the gazebo was fitting of a wedding. I’m not sure if ceremonious vows have ever been exchanged on its platform, but I have seen many radiant brides pose on its century-old steps.
The gazebo in my hometown, is quite different from the small wooden gazebo I once encountered while walking my Dachshund. Being naturally drawn to such buildings, probably because of my small town upbringing, the first time I saw it nestled on the grounds of an apartment complex I walked toward it, hoping to step inside. As I made my approach, I noticed that the path seemingly leading to the gazebo ended before reaching the steps. The gazebo was intended only for decoration.
I continued on my walk and thought of God’s love. Whimsically, yet respectfully, I next imagined a glorious gazebo inside the gates of heaven. My human mind pictured an understated, but sparkling octagonal pavilion surrounded by wildflowers freshly painted by angels.
Unlike the small gazebo designed only for aesthetics, there was one path that led to the entrance; and in the center stood Christ, the bridegroom, waiting for his bride, the Church to exchange its filthy rags for pristine robes of splendor.
Then a voice came from the throne, saying: ”Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great. Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.) Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ “And he added, “These are the true words of God.” Revelation 19:5-10;(New International Version)