Matt. 25:1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 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, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But 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.’ 10 And 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. 11 Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13 Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
The virgins were all to be prepared for the coming of the Bridegroom. No one would knew when he was coming but their lamps were to be burning bright. The lamps were probably sticks wrapped in rags which were lit on fire. To keep the fire burning from time to time they had to be dripped in oil. Those who were prepared had oil and so their lamps kept burning, but those who did not had a problem. The result was that they were not prepared when the Bridegroom returned.
There are many different thoughts regarding the oil and what it symbolizes in the life of a Christ-follower. But let’s just imagine for a moment that the light from the lamp is a reflection of the glory of Christ. The lamp remains lit when we are reflecting him and this is only possible when we are in a relationship with him on a regular and on-going basis. Regularly we dip ourselves or bathe ourselves in the anointing of his holy love. It is this holy love that radiates from our lamps and provides us with the opportunity to carry the kingdom into a darkened world.
All of the virgins took time to sleep and rest, so this isn’t about staying awake at every single moment. It is, however, about remaining connected to the Holy One. Five of the virgins stepped out of that regular relationship and let their lamps go out. They thought they were waiting but they were no longer a reflection God’s love to the world. The faithful virgins never gave up on their walk with the Lord.
We are in a season of waiting during Advent, awaiting his second coming. It is during this time that we are to be an ongoing reflection of his love to the world. Our lamps are to shine bright, fueled on my his glorious presence in our lives. May we burn brightly in the darkness of this world so that his glory is reflected and the world is drawn toward him. The Bridegrrom is coming, let's do all that we can to be ready!
Lord, may my lamp burn bright for you today. Amen.
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