November 7, 1999

Matthew 25:1-13

The kingdom of heaven is like what happened one night when ten girls took their oil lamps and went to a wedding to meet the groom. Five of the girls were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps, but no extra oil. the ones who were wise took along extra oil for their lamps.

The groom was late arriving, and the girls became drowsy and fell asleep. Then in the middle of the night someone shouted, "Here's the groom! Come to meet him!"

When the girls got up and started getting their lamps ready, the foolish ones said to the others, "Let us have some of your oil! Our lamps are going out."

The girls who were wise answered, "There's not enough oil for all of us! God and buy some for yourselves."

While the foolish girls were on their way to get some oil, the groom arrived. The girls who were ready went into the wedding, and the doors were closed. Later the other girls returned and shouted, "Sir, sir! Open the door for us!"

But the groom replied, "I don't even know you!"

So, my disciples, always be ready! You don't know the day or the time when all this will happen. [CEV]


1. The kingdom of heaven is like a late-arriving groom who brings closure in his wake. So, be ready because once it is closed, it is closed.

2. New Year's eve? No. We know about that.
    Tomorrow? Possibly. Who yet knows about today?
    Yesterday? Probably.
      To them that have, more will be added; from them that haven't even that will be taken from them.
    Now we live it out.

3. Who is ever ready? Confession up-to-date? So here's a question, "Given that the door has closed, how will you choose to live?"
     When you are not trying to bargain to get in, when you are not hoping against hope that grace and mercy will prevail over law and judgment, when you are not triumphant -- how will you live? Will you love for no good reason? I pray so for me and for thee.

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