Being Prepared…

(Pastor Harlan Shoop guided us through the Parable of the Bridesmaids on Sunday, Sept. 3.  Here are some of his reflections!  –MM)

Matthew 25:1-13

Wow, there is a lot going on in this passage!  Matthew 24 and 25 are all Jesus words about the future of the Kingdom of God.

Matthew places this story in the middle of Jesus “parables”or “stories” on what the Kingdom of God will be like.  The groom is expected by the bridesmaids to come sometime soon.   Jesus teaches that at some point there will be a culmination of history.  This could be for us individually at our death or some apocalyptic event like nuclear war with North Korea or a major earthquake.   History is moving us to some place. It is clear that the time and place of these events are a mystery but that he is the Lord of history. In the meantime- believers are to be prepared. It seems according to this story that there comes a time when it will no longer be possible to make a choice about entering the Kingdom.

For reflection:
  1. What stands out to you as you read the text?
  2. What questions do you have as you read this section?
  3. What does the oil represent?
  4. Why don’t the five wise bridesmaids share their oil?
  5. Notice that the Groom comes at midnight, is there any significance to his coming at night and the importance of light in darkness?
  6. If Jesus were telling this today, like in a coffee shop or park, and you happened to be there…what do you think Jesus would be saying to you?
  7. In what ways can we prepare for His coming?

In faith,

Pastor Harlan

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