Wait on the Lord today.
The Parable of the Ten Virgins “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. Matthew 25:1–13
What things get you excited? The newest trends? The celebrity news? Do you often think of your eternal future?
Today’s parable once again stresses the importance of how we live—because following Jesus fundamentally changes everything. We don’t just live for stuff. We don’t just live for the present. Our future hope imbues the present with both meaning and purpose. And this future, God’s kingdom, starts from the moment we follow Jesus.
Jesus uses the metaphor of a wedding to look at the importance of faithful kingdom living, and again it focuses on a bridegroom who is later than expected (5). The ten bridesmaids all do the same thing—they fall asleep (5)! Yet once again there is a subtle difference in behavior: some are “wise” and some are “foolish” (2). The “wise” bridesmaids are both expectant and prepared for a delay, armed with sufficient oil for their lamps (7). A lack of oil for the foolish bridesmaids shows an unpreparedness for the coming of the bridegroom (8).
Once again Jesus is talking about the necessity of faithful preparedness even in the everyday, mundane events of life. There is to be a shift in attitude for Jesus’ followers, a different outlook.
In reality, are you living as if the present is all there is? If you were living in light of eternity today, how would your choices be different? What would you spend your time on?
Thank You for Your endless well of forgiveness.
May we be so rooted in You that we are not governed by our impulses.
Remind us that it is not perfection You desire; Your love is not conditional on our actions.
Help us to have patience and grace for ourselves as we grow.
We pray that our capacity for self-control increases as we surrender to You.
May we love those around us well as they walk this same challenging path.
You are good, even when we fall short.