Summary: As Christians we find ourselves in the position of waiting for the return of our Lord. How do we maintain an attitude of expectancy while in this position of waiting. The parable of the ten virgins teaches us a few things.
Preparing for Tomorrow…Today
Text: Matthew 25:1-13
The title of my message tonight is “Preparing for Tommorow…Today” Now now matter what the title sounds like this is not an will planning clinic…and then again maybe it is!
The story is told of a man who dreamt one night that an angel was talking to him. The angel spoke words of comfort all through the night. I awoke the next morning to find a lump under my pillow. It was a small stuffed "angel" bear that had fallen off the headboard of the bed. When you press its paw it says, "I’m your guardian angel, I’m your special friend." Every time he turned his head it was speaking to him.
Tonight I would like to share a message that comes from an illustration that was emailed me this past week.
There’s a true story that comes form the sinking of the Titanic. A frightened woman found her place in a lifeboat that was about to be lowered into the raging North Atlantic. She suddenly thought of something she
needed, so she asked permission to return to her stateroom before they cast off. She was granted three minutes or they would leave without her.She ran access the deck that was already slanted at a dangerous angle. She raced through the gambling room with all the money that had rolled to one side, ankle deep. She came to her stateroom and quickly pushed a side her diamond rings and expensive bracelets and necklaces as she reached to the shelf above her bed and grabbed three small oranges. She quickly found her way back to the lifeboat and got in.Now that seems incredible because thirty minutes earlier she would not have chosen a crate of oranges over the smallest diamond. But death had boarded the Titanic. One blast of its awful breath had transformed all values.
Instantaneously, priceless things had become worthless. Worthless things had become priceless. And in that moment she preferred three small oranges to a
crate of diamonds. There are events in life, which have the power to transform the way we look at the world. September 11th was one of those events, the Kennedy Assassination and World War II are similar events. Jesus’ parable about the ten virgins offers one of these types of events, for the parable is about the Second Coming of Christ. But Jesus doesn’t come right out and say this. Rather, he let’s the story describe it for him. The woman on the sinking Titanic understood, in the light of her current circumstances,
that she must make preparations for living on a lifeboat. Diamonds would not suffice, only the precious resources of an orange were good enough. Likewise, in this world where Christ may return at any moment, the parable warns, we must be ready.
Dr. Richard A. Todd, in a sermon entitled: "Ten Sleepy Women" gives some background to the parable…
“In order to catch the impact of this story, we need to know some historical background of a first-century Jewish wedding. Eastern and Western cultures are very different. In an Eastern culture the bridegroom is often a more important figure than the bride and frequently paid for all the expenses of the wedding. A Jewish wedding had three parts or stages to it. First, there was the formal engagement/betrothal which was almost always arranged by the parents of the future bride and groom. Second (up to a year or more) came the formal religious ceremony in the bride’s home. This was a religious service similar to our wedding service. Thirdly, there was the wedding banquet (feast), generally at night, at the house of the groom and it generally lasted about seven days and could take place right after the ceremony or weeks later. The bridegroom would come to get his bride and they would walk together to the wedding. It was an elaborate affair that cost a lot of money. It was, therefore, a social event to which their friends were anxious to attend. The bride and the groom walked down the street and their bridesmaids would take part in the ‘welcoming ceremony’ by lighting the way with lamps held by the wedding party. It would be a major faux pax for anyone in the wedding party not to be by the road ready to welcome the bridegroom and bride.
That is the background of the picture our Lord draws here. Here are ten young women waiting to join the wedding party. They are expecting and waiting for the bridegroom and the bride.”
Dr. Richard A. Todd, Sermon: "Ten Sleepy Women"
-It is the position that we find ourselves in, waiting for our Lord. How do we prepare ourselves?
Let me suggest three ways...
1. First, we must understand that some things in life cannot be borrowed. The heritage that I have grown up in I would not trade for anything. But I also realize that while that heritage provides an incredible foundation for me, I must have an active relationship with God in order to be ready.