November 12, 2017
Ready or not
When was the last time you played hide and seek? Remember being “it”, counting, eyes hidden until you joyously shouted “ready or not, here I come!” What a feeling of exhilaration you had as you found that first player. And what surprise, even fear, was on the player’s face if they didn’t hear you coming. They knew you were searching, expected you to find them, but it was still a shock to see you suddenly appear in their calm, quiet hiding place.
Five virgins in today’s parable must have felt exactly that when they heard the bridegroom’s cry. Yes, they knew he was coming, and should have expected it, but it had been so quiet so long. All that waiting let them relax and forget the bridegroom’s arrival. And he found them just as shocked, just as unprepared as the players in a hide and seek game. It’s a lesson for us all to think about. Have we been living a peaceful life in such a safe place that we’ve forgotten the One who is searching for us? Would we be prepared today if the Lord called “ready or not, here I come”?
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Don’t miss out!
Each of us probably still harbors a childhood memory of when we “missed out”. It might have been a party we were too sick to go to, or that family obligations forced us to miss. Remember how sick with disappointment and grief your young heart felt? It was almost too much to bear, knowing everyone else was having so much fun and you were left out. Consider how much larger the grief would be if the party had been hosted by Jesus. Today’s gospel tells the story of ten young maidens who were to participate in a wedding. Five of them came well prepared with oil for their lamps. Sadly, the other five had forgotten their preparations. When the bridegroom was almost at the door, they rushed off to replenish their oil – and ended by missing the whole party. No matter how they begged to be let in, the groom said, “Sorry, I don’t know you.” Let’s not risk a repeat of our childhood disappointments. All it takes is a little preparation, a little commitment, and a lot of faith to ensure we enjoy the best party in the universe: the glorious and blessed gathering of Christ and His friends.