My Bridegroom, God, may my heart burn for You and my eyes ever be opened as I wait for You.
Read: Matthew 25:1-13
 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.  The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.  The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.  “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’  “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.  The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’  “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’  “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.  “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’  “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’  “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Reflect: Do you feel an urgency to tell others about Jesus?
Jesus says some difficult things. None of them is more difficult to a modern, tolerant, pluralist ear than the idea that heaven is exclusive. Some people will get in, and some will not. It might feel easier to pretend that Jesus didn’t say this, but in this passage, he clearly does.
This parable continues Jesus’ thread about his return. He will come back, without warning, leaving those who have rejected him in a difficult position. In the story, half of the women are caught out, because the bridegroom takes a long time to arrive at the banquet and eventually arrives when they have fallen asleep (5). Their lack of preparation and commitment is costly. They end up locked out of the feast. “Truly I tell you, I don’t know you,” says the bridegroom (12). In context, it seems to be a metaphor for eternity. Those who are ready get in, but those who aren’t do not.
Jesus’ promised return has already taken much longer than his early followers expected. We are in danger of becoming “drowsy” like those ten virgins. No one knows the hour of his return. The important thing is to be ready and to help others to be ready, too.
There is a time to prepare and there is a time when it will be too late. Do you need to become prepared?
Lord, help me to take eternity seriously, and to lead others towards an eternity with You.