Summary: A sermon about putting faith into action.

Matthew 25:1-13

“Ten Virgins and a Bridegroom”

By: Rev. Ken Sauer, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Soddy Daisy, TN

Immediately before this passage Jesus is talking about His Second Coming.

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, not the Son, but only the Father…Who then is the faithful and wise servant…”

Jesus asks, and then continues that it will be good for that person whose master finds him or her doing the Lord’s work when he returns.

The parable of the Ten Virgins is meant to help explain what Jesus is talking about.

The virgins represent those who call themselves Christians and await the bridegroom who is Jesus.

The bridegroom’s delay alludes to the fact that Jesus has not returned as soon as many folks had hoped.

The marriage feast symbolizes the life in the age to come, and the closed door stands for the last judgment.

Much less certainty surrounds the meaning of the key element in the story: the extra oil that the wise virgins have and the foolish virgins do not have.

Martin Luther claimed that the oil represents faith.

Others say the oil that causes the lamps of the wise virgins to continue burning brightly is enduring love.

But the explanation which is most often put forth and which I believe kind of sums up the other explanations is that the oil stands for good works.

Can good deeds burn out before the final judgment?

Can they be bought at the store?

This parable refers to you and to me—ordinary followers of Jesus who must persevere in our doing and being…in our faith, hope and love…until Jesus comes, no matter how long the delay may be!!!

And when faith, hope and love are real—they lead to action!!!

What have you done lately for the Kingdom of God?

What have you done lately in order to help push back hate and bring forth love for God, love for enemies, love for neighbors?

It is my belief that we Christians are the ones who must be known for our love for everyone—no matter what!

If we are working within God’s will we will do nothing to cause another of God’s beloved to feel less than human but only most sacredly loved!!!

We will do all that we can to make sure no person is hurt by the evil of hatred, prejudice and unequal treatment.

The Christian Church must be known as the place where everyone is welcome—no matter what!!!

We must not lobby to legislate morality, but instead love persons by our words and deeds.

That is one of the things I love most about Grace United Methodist Church—I think this is where we are at…or at least heading…

…and that ROCKS!!!

As many of you know, I spent most of this past week at a conference in Richmond, Virginia.

Yesterday, as I got on my computer and was checking out facebook for the first time in several days I read what another minister wrote on the wall of a group I am part of.

I must tell you, I have never been so humbled in all my life.

I don’t believe I have ever heard anyone say such things about me—ever!

“I have just spent a whole week with Ken Sauer and let me tell you he’s nutz!!!

He has a vision and a love for Jesus.

He also is a skateboarder and that’s cool for a preacher to do!!

I want all of you to know it takes all kinds to spread the word and expand the kingdom.

Ken has the power to reach those who most think are unreachable!!

I have tried hard to be an off the wall preacher and I can’t hold this guy a LIGHT!!

I am proud to be called friend by Ken because he’s my friend.

You go Kenneth Sauer.

Go out and expand the kingdom one weirdo at a time and I’ll go right beside you!!!!!!!!”

Best compliment I have ever received as a minister—hands down, and I know the same can be said of YOU!!!

What an awesome future we have at Grace!

In any event, we Christians must, like Jesus Christ—Fall in Love with the Streets because there does appear to be a separation between church and neighborhood.

And talk without action—plays a part in this divide.

People who most need the church are sitting outside, waiting to feel worthy enough to come.

It doesn’t have to be this way!!!

We are in a most privileged position.

We are in a position to change the perception the world has of the followers of Christ—and that will happen if we become radical in our love, faithfulness, and action toward those whom others have written off, or to those who have written themselves off!!!

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