Summary: A Sermon for the 25th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 27 The Parable of the 10 Maidens
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.
So they ran down the street, found the dealer, bought more oil and ran back to the house. But by that time, the bridegroom had come, went into the house and began the celebration. The five knocked on the door and asked to be let in. But the bridegroom said no, and then went back to the celebration.
And then Jesus tells us the point of the story he says: "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour."
The point of the parable that Jesus talked about is being prepared. We don’t know when He is coming again, but we need to be prepared.
We need to have everything in order, so we can sleep when the wind blows. We need to have the confidence in our life that when Jesus does come again, everything is in order.
I remember when I was in high school, I worked for my Dad during the summers. Being disabled, Dad knew I needed some work experience so when I went out into the work force, I would be able to write down that I worked where he worked.
Dad gave me a job that most of the other guys hated, making boxes. The company he worked for made a quick drying cement which was shipped all over in cardbooard boxes which were lined with plastic. But the boxes came broken down from the company which made them, so you had to fold the cardboard into the box shape, but a plastic liner in it, and throw it into a big bin where it would be grabbed and filled with the cement. It was a lonely job and very tedious.