MEMORY VERSE: You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him – Luke 12:40
Hello, children of God!
Are you ready? Maybe you’re thinking, “ready for what?” “All right, ready for something! It’s important to be ready for what life might throw our way. Now, I happen to have here with me a handy dandy kit for preparedness. These are stuff that I have in my car, so I can always be ready.
No matter what needs come along. Do you want to take a look at what I have inside?
Let’s see, uh, uh … (Put it out one at a time; explain how you go out with extra stuff)
So here’s a hand sanitizer and some cleaning wipes, because these days it’s still important to bring these things with you. Now, I’ve got a jacket and gloves, too, because I like to be safe, and you never know when a cold front could strike! I also have a flashlight here to help find items in the dark, and an extra phone charger and a tow strap in case my car get stuck somewhere. Oh, and I’ve got band-aid in case anyone gets hurt, and some snacks in case I feel hungry, and here’s my book, just in case I’m bored and need to do something.
It’s good to be prepared to do a variety of things, isn’t it? You know, Jesus told the parable that he was ready for something. You might even call it “preparable!”
Once upon a time, Jesus was telling the story of a wedding feast. Before we hear the story, let’s learn a bit about Jewish customs.
For a long period of time, Jewish marriage took place in three steps. The parents, often with the aid of a matchmaker, made a pledge when the couple was still very young.
Second, the Betrothal ceremony was held at the residence of the bride. The pair exchanged vows, and the groom gave gifts to the bride. This time lasted a year or two, but the bride was still living with her parents. During this time, the bride was said to be “betrothed” or “espoused” to the young man.
The Marriage Supper came first. Typically, it happened at night. The groom and his friends went to the bride’s house. She must have been wearing a thick veil. She and her friends would follow the groom and her friends to their father’s house, or even to a larger hall where the festivities would take place. A contract has already been signed.
The bride and groom would spend their time together, and then the bride would sit alone for seven days. At the end of the week, the bride will return to the crowd, removing her veil so that everyone can see her. If the young woman had never been married, the feast would have lasted for seven days. If she had been a widow remarrying, it would have lasted for three days.
In Jesus’ story, the ten virgins were waiting for the bridegroom to come. They were probably already in the hall where the bridegroom had brought his bride. It was nighttime, they all had oil lamps in them, and the lamps burned brightly.
They’ve been waiting and waiting. The wedding party had still not arrived. They began to get drowsy later on, and they fell asleep one by one.
Then they heard someone call, “The bridegroom is here! Come out to meet him.”
They started to get up, but some of the lights started to go out.
For just such an event, five of the girls were prepared. They had planned, and the delay was anticipated. Their lamps had extra oil to add to them. They were wise to make preparations for this.
There was no extra oil on the five foolish girls. They wanted the wise girls to borrow them some, but they refused. They said it might not be enough for all of them. The girls were urged to go and purchase some oil from someone who had it for sale.
The girls left to find an oil selling merchant.
The bridegroom arrived while they were gone and the five wise girls and the rest of the wedding party went inside. The door has been locked.
The five foolish girls returned. They were screaming for someone to open their door, but sadly there was no way for them to come in. The bridegroom said, “I am telling you the truth. I do not know you.”
The meaning of this parable has many ideas. But it seems that one idea is very clear; we need to live our lives in such a way that we are always ready for the return of the Lord or the end of our lives.
That parable teaches us to be prepared at all times. The foolish girls brought their lamps with oil, but they didn’t think ahead, and they brought with them extra oil.
Are you going to have a school test? Please don’t wait to prepare for it until the last minute. Study ahead of time, and to get the knowledge in your head, you will not have to “cram”.
Do you have to learn the Memory Verse? Don’t delay studying until you recite it in the morning. Every day, work on it, and it will become a part of you. You might even be able to remember it some years later!
So what does this mean? Well, Jesus explained that at the end of time,
He’ll be coming back. This is a pledge which will be fulfilled someday. Again, Jesus is coming!
However, we don’t know when it’ll be. Wherever it happens to be, Jesus wants us to be prepared for His return. How are we doing that? Well, we are praying, and we are reading the Word of God to know how He wants us to live our lives. We also demonstrate that by offering kindness to those around us, we’re ready to meet Jesus. It’s also essential to attend church. But not just for helping us to be prepared for Jesus to return someday, all of this is positive.
There are things that we need to do now every day. We know that Jesus is with us, present at every moment. If we keep that in mind, we may want to behave in a way that respects and celebrates Him. And that doesn’t mean to think about or be scared of God. We know that He’s close, and that gives us joy and excitement. He’s going to come back, and that’s going to be better than any group we can imagine. So we’re going to make sure we’re ready! Be vigilant for those around you, be mindful of Jesus with us now, and be happy in the expectation of the Resurrection.
Why don’t we pray now to thank God for His promises and ask Him to help us prepare for his coming?