Today: Monday, December 09, 2019
 
 

Bridesmaids in trouble    (3/15/2009 )

Have you ever had that awful stomach lurching moment when the car engine coughs and you realise that the little hand is not only on empty but actually on the wrong end of the red mark!  If only you had stopped at the last petrol pump.  It’s easy to be wise after the event, but that’s no use now.  

There are some times when we should be laid back and not live in constant stress, but there are some things that we do have to do today.  Life is full of deadlines, like those set by Her Majesty’s taxman, but there are things even more important than these which need our attention right now!  

Jesus told a story of a wedding.  At that time weddings were different from today.  Often the bridegroom would arrive home for the wedding feast after a long procession taking in many other venues.  He would have been held up by well-wishers - no knowing when he would be back - you can imagine the scene!  

The bridesmaids’ job was to be at the house holding lights to welcome him when he eventually arrived home.  On this occasion 5 of the 10 bridesmaids were prepared and had brought extra oil for their lamps in case he was late, and 5 had not.  (I bet all of their mothers had told them to take extra oil!)  The man was, of course, very late and the spare oil was needed.  

At this moment 5 girls wished they had listened to their mothers!  They had no oil.  The sensible girls didn’t have enough to share and by the time they got back from the shops the door to the feast was closed. They banged on the door in desperation: how embarrassing to be locked out! But worse is to come.  

The master is asked to let them in but says he has no idea who they are. “What?” they cry in horror, “you asked us to be here, of course you know us!  We have been hanging around with your bride and her family for years!  What nonsense!  Of course you know us!”  But it was all to no avail. It was too late.  

What dreadful rejection. If only they had thought ahead and brought more oil.  It’s easy to be wise after the event.

Sometimes not being prepared or ready can have drastic consequences.   

So what is Jesus saying?  He is the bridegroom who is coming back to fulfil the relationship he has promised to those who love him.  Within the story we are both the bridesmaids and the bride.  If we love him we look forward to that day as a bride looks forward to her wedding.  But actually Jesus doesn’t mention the bride here because he wants us to think about whether we are prepared or not.  

He longs to welcome those who are ready whenever he returns for them, always awake.  His desire for us is that we will have developed and deepened our relationship with him into one of love and closeness so that he can know us and welcome us into that eternal feast.  

What about you?  It’s so easy to be wise after the event.  




Read the story for yourself - you’ll find it in the Bible, in Matthew chapter 25, verses 1 - 13  

If you want to be prepared, but don’t know how, why not read:

Becoming a Christian  

Ways to pray

Life after death

If you would like to talk to God, why not start by reading Psalm 40?  

A prayer

Dear Jesus, I want to be ready to meet you when you come back. I want to live each day now and forever with you. Please lead me, guide me, and give me wisdom to live in readiness for your life-giving call.
Amen

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