Jan. 4, 2021

Wise Bridesmaids

Wise Bridesmaids

Matthew 25:1-13
At that time the Kingdom of heaven will be like this. Once there were ten young women who took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and the other five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any extra oil with them, 4 while the wise ones took containers full of oil for their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was late in coming, so they began to nod and fall asleep.
6 “It was already midnight when the cry rang out, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come and meet him!’ 7 The ten young women woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 Then the foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Let us have some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ 9 ‘No, indeed,’ the wise ones answered, ‘there is not enough for you and for us. Go to the store and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 So the foolish ones went off to buy some oil; and while they were gone, the bridegroom arrived. The five who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was closed.
11 “Later the others arrived. ‘Sir, sir! Let us in!’ they cried out. 12 ‘Certainly not! I don't know you,’ the bridegroom answered.”
13 And Jesus concluded, “Watch out, then, because you do not know the day or the hour.

The parable above relays a message to the Church awaiting Christ' return. The bridegroom refers to Christ and the young women refer to His Church. The oil refers to the Holy Spirit. Notice that in the beginning both the wise and the foolish had oil in their lamps. Initially, everyone was filled with the Spirit and were illuminating the darkness around them. However, the initial infilling of the Spirit will not always sustain us through the night. Jude 1:20 But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; Jude advises us to continue in prayer in order to continue being filled with the presence of God. It looks like 50% of the Church missed the second coming of the Lord. Only half brought extra oil to sustain them. The anointing on the other half ran out. Notice that as the Bridegroom delayed His return, all of the young women slept. The error was not in the fact that the Church was asleep, however in the lack of anointing of the Holy Spirit. It was alright to fall asleep as the trumpet will sound prior to Christ' return and wake us up. However it was not alright to be empty of the anointing of God. As we see Christ' second coming approaching, we need to ensure that we are continually being filled with the Spirit. We need to have our lamps trimmed with extra oil. There will be no time to muster up the anointing once the trumpet sounds announcing Christ' return. As Paul says,  finally my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Be ready to welcome the Bridegroom, having abundant oil in your lamps. Illuminate the surrounding darkness. Let your light shine so men will see your good work and glorify the Lord. Amen.