25th Sunday after Pentecost
"I can sleep when the wind blows."
1 ¶ "Then the kingdom of heaven shall be compared to ten maidens who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.
3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them;
4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.
5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 But at midnight there was a cry, ’Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’
7 Then all those maidens rose and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, ’Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’
9 But the wise replied, ’Perhaps there will not be enough for us and for you; go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was shut.
11 Afterward the other maidens came also, saying, ’Lord, lord, open to us.’
12 But he replied, ’Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.RSV
Grace and peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ. Amen
I would like to tell you about a farm hand.
A young man applied for a job as a farm hand. When asked for his qualifications, he said, "I can sleep when the wind blows."
This puzzled the farmer, but he took a liking to the young man and hired him.
A few days later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm. They quickly began to check things out to see if all was secure. They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened. A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace. The farm implements had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements. The tractor had been moved into the garage. The barn had been properly locked. All was well. Even the animals were calm.
It was then that the farmer grasped the meaning of the young man’s words, "I can sleep when the wind blows."
Because the farm hand had performed his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was prepared for the storm when it broke. Consequently, when the wind blew, he had no fear. He was able to sleep in peace.
In the parable that is our gospel lesson this morning, Jesus is talking about exactly the same thing, being able to sleep when the winds blows, in other words, being prepared.
Jesus tells the story of 10 maidens who were waiting for the bridegroom. Five of the maids took their lamps filled with oil and had a supply of reserve oil on hand, the other five took their lamps filled with oil but had no reserve. The bridegroom was delayed, so the maidens fell asleep with their lamps were burning.
When the bridegroom finally came, they all turned their lamps up on high to see as they made their way out to him, but the five had run out of oil and had no reserve. They asked the others for some oil but were told to go to the one who sells oil and get it that way.