Matthew 25:1-13 Children can follow along in Spark on page 314.
This is the story of 10 bridesmaids who wait for a groom. When he becomes delayed the 5 that brought extra oil for their lamps are prepared. The other 5 run out of oil and have to go get more. During that time they miss the groom and their chance to be part of the wedding feast.
To be honest, this is not one of the parables I turn to often. When I read the whole story it seems mean not to let people in when the groom was the one who was late in the first place. It basically messes with my idea of fairness and grace. However, I can easily compare it to the spiritual practice of preparation. Probably a reason I have been drawn to ministry and to church leadership is because of the value I experience in building relationships. Life has many unexpected tragedies and dramatic situations, including death, sickness, violence, failure, and hate. Are we prepared for these situations?
On the one hand I'm not sure if we can ever truly be prepared for all of life. In fact, I would say that we simply cannot. Part of living is experiencing a new day each and every day. Even days that are similar are still somehow different in some way. Tragedy, is something that drastically changes our daily living. Are we ready?
The hope I have experienced in church communities, is the resource of living life with others. Some people primarily think of church as reaching out to those not yet in the church. Some people primarily think of church as a place to learn correct beliefs about the world. While both of those are true, I think another reason is to prepare for the unknown. To build a life with people who will walk with you during times of stress and tragedy and sadness. I often wonder if we have the time to invest in our relationships. We can busy ourselves so much that we become similar to the five bridesmaids who miss the bride. They have just enough to get by in "regular" circumstances, but not enough to encounter the unexpected in life.
May we invest enough in our relationships so that we are prepared when the unexpected happens. May the kingdom of God flourish with those who prepare together. Peace,
Events & Evites:
Tory - Pastor of Children and Youth Faith Formation.