Friday, 27 January 2012

Go and buy oil

I love weddings. They are for me life's best moments. Everyone is happy, not just the husband and wife but all the guests too. Everyone is excited and ready for a celebration. If you're lucky you'll have been invited to the meal afterwards, and if that goes anything like the weddings I've been to, a party will  break out, usually around the time of the last course.
   But what would happen if you get invited to the wedding and you didn't make it. You know the bridegroom will be arriving soon, but you get distracted by other things and you don't get ready, and before you know it he's arrived and the wedding has started and the doors have been shut.
   This is a story Jesus told, in which ten virgins, five of them wise and five foolish, were waiting for the bridegroom and the wedding. The five wise virgins had prepared and brought extra oil for their lamps but the foolish had not. So when, at midnight, the bridegroom returns for the wedding the five foolish virgins have no oil for their lamps and the five wise virgins do not have enough to share. Then the five wise virgins go into the wedding and the celebration while the foolish ones go off to buy oil, but when they return the door has been shut and they cannot get in.
   This is a description of what Heaven will be like - the biggest and happiest party ever! The bridegroom has come briefly and soon he will return for the wedding. Are you ready? Is everything prepared? Do you know God?
   The bridegroom is Jesus and at the end of the parable he says to the five foolish virgins at the door "I do not know you." They asked for oil from the other five but there was not enough to go around. When Jesus comes one person's faith will not cover two people.
   There is no use in being good on the outside if you have nothing to sustain you on the inside. It is right to be good but it is not enough. You need the oil to keep you light burning when the bridegroom comes again. He is coming soon. Go and buy oil.

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