Summary: Staying prepared for the Second Coming
Keeping the Light On
According to Bible Gateway, oil is mentioned 207 times in the bible.
In biblical times, oil was derived from various sources and used for many different purposes. Oils were used for fragrances in days before air conditioning and air fresheners. In nomadic tents and adobe style homes, it doesn’t take much for foul odors to manifest.
Oil was used to refresh the body and yes even as a form of deodorant. Of course, oil was used in cooking and preserving foodstuffs. Various oils were used in anointing and medicinally for healing and funeral preparations. Suffice it to say that oils and spiced oils were a necessary commodity in biblical days.
Our reading today refers specifically to fuel lamps. Interestingly, whale oil and oils from rendering fat of animals is used even today for lamp fuel, in remote areas of the world.
This reading is yet another parable to teach and emphasize being prepared for the second coming of Christ.
The reading tells us of ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to greet the anticipated arrival of the bridegroom. Five of them were wise and five of them were foolish. You see the wise virgins carried lamps full of oil but also carried some backup oil so that they would not run out. The foolish virgins carried full lamps but did not carry any backup fuel, so when their lamps burned dry, they were left in the dark. They ran about to the wise virgins begging for them to share some of their oil, but none would lest they risk running short.
As a modern example of being prepared is something that we here in this part of the country just recently experienced. When the hurricanes were approaching, ample warning was broadcast for those potentially in the wake to either evacuate or PREPARE by stocking up on water, fuel for portable grills and generators, medicines and non-perishable foods. Did everyone do that? Were some left scrambling in the aftermath because they failed to make preparations?
Jesus used this parable because weddings in that day consisted of an engagement, a betrothal and the marriage ceremony. Friends of the bride customarily would wait with the bride for the arrival of the bridegroom and travel along with the couple to the wedding celebration with their lamps lighting the way.
The foolish girls were forced to go seeking to buy oil and hope to catch up with the wedding party. When they returned the procession left them and went on. The foolish ones hurried after to the celebration only to find the door shut. They knocked and cried out to be let in, “Lord, Lord, open to us!”. The response from inside was, “Assuredly I say to you, I do not know you.” Verse 11
Many who did not prepare for the coming storms, rushed out to hardware stores, grocery stores and building supply houses only to find bare shelves where the sought essentials would normally be displayed. They were sold out.
Beloved, the lesson is – JESUS IS COMING AGAIN! – That advance notice has been broadcast for over two thousand years.
Some simply don’t believe it, guess where they’ll be when that day comes!
Some believe they can make that final preparation at the last minute. How will anyone ever know when that “last minute” will be.
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.” Verse 13
“ For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2
No one knows when Christ will make that glorious arrival, NO ONE! We have been advised; we have been admonished; we have been warned and we will have NO second chances when this day rolls around. This message is not intended as a threat nor as a means of intimidation. It is a love message. There is no hidden agenda. It is an invitation, we either accept the invitation; get ready; and stay ready or we reject the entire gospel truth that all leads to Christ.
As we remain ready, it is incumbent upon us to do all in our power to bring that truth to as many others as we possibly can.
We can maintain our lamps and sufficient oil to share the light. Read on:
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Let us pray.