1“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
It can be hard to attend to the presence of God when every day is the same. There might be a day when we forget the oil, or forget to care for what we’ve been given. The parable warns that this is just when God is liable to show up. On the one hand, then, this parable can be discouraging. How can we possibly live with expectation all the time? On the other hand we can be encouraged: because the parable is nothing less than the promise that, no matte how long we have to wait, God is coming. How could we fail to be hopeful or unprepared?
God, keep us ready and waiting—in your Word and in your Spirit—hopeful of your promise that we claim, in our Savoir, Jesus Christ. Amen.