Refilling the Lamps

There are some kinds of oil you can’t borrow from anyone else. There are some kinds of preparation we can only do for ourselves, reserves that no one else can build up for us. We have to figure out what fills us up, spiritually, and then make sure we have the oil we need to carry with us, every single minute of the day, because that’s how often we’ll need it. We carry that oil so that others might see that the lamp that is within is not only lit – but shining brightly! Some days we are going to be caught off guard. Yet, if we find ourselves running out of oil we must take time to fill it up, we refill the lamp of our heart and mind with the mercy and blessings of God, and that’s what we take with us everyday.

…go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.  …for you know neither the day nor the hour (Matthew 25:1-13).

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Work Still Necessary

Give us some of your oil.  Matthew 25:1-13  Ten were chosen to be bridesmaids, but only five took their place of honor seriously. The other five weren’t prepared for the long awaited coming of the groom. In fact it took longer than they anticipated. They assumed without consideration the process necessary for such a commitment. When the foolish five asked to be given oil, they were essentially asking the wise bridesmaids to risk their own opportunity. Commitment without accountability has no value. We are expected to continue to follow through on our faith, understanding that our work is still necessary so that when God’s grace as the bridegroom arrives, even as we rest, we are fully prepared to receive that grace.

Clean Underwear

Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.  Matthew 25:1-13  In some ways this sounds like the beginning of a joke. However, by the time you finish hearing the parable you know that it’s anything but. All ten of those bridesmaids knew that the bridegroom was coming. Yet, even today the reality of the parable is that when the time comes, some will not be prepared. I’m reminded of the time my mother told me to always have on clean underwear just in case I got hit by a car – or something! Although mom’s instruction was good enough for me, it really hit home years later when I was on call as a chaplain in a trauma unit. A young woman was brought in after being in a car accident. When the nurse cut off her clothes revealing her underwear, those of us who could see, all had the same look on our faces. My guess is we were all thinking of our mother’s warning. Prayerfully and thankfully the woman would fully recover from her injuries. I realized that although I don’t live expecting to be hit by a car, without thought, I daily heed my mother’s instruction. As believers, how much more so should we heed God’s instruction to be wisely prepared, as we live with the expectation of the coming Messiah? Keep Awake – because at that expected hour there won’t be an opportunity to recover!