Matthew 25:1-4,10,13 – At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. … While they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. … Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. (NIV)
A bad experience in early childhood taught me that I didn't want to arrive at any gathering too early. This desire to arrive later has also gotten me into embarrassing experiences. Somewhere between being first and last, awake and asleep, there is a happy medium toward which we need to strive.
The term "virgin" as used in the Bible refers to something or someone young, wise, pure, clean, righteous, punctual, obedient — any term that would be used to describe a young woman engaged in right living. The wise virgins were on time for the wedding feast, but the foolish ones were unprepared. They missed the bridegroom's arrival. The fuel had burned out in their lamps, and, not being prepared with refills, they missed the important event.
This parable told by Jesus was His admonition for us to be prepared for His imminent return — which could happen at any moment.
Revelation 19:9b – Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb. (NLT)
In Scripture, Jesus is referred to as the Lamb and the Bridegroom, and the Church is referred to as the Bride. In that last day, those who are ready will gain entrance to the wedding feast of the Lamb.
All of us want to attend the wedding party, but many of us are not prepared. Either we will be too late in arriving, or we arrived too early and have used up all our fuel, and our lights, our enthusiasm and zeal, will have gone out. Some will not be prepared to refuel the lamps which will allow us to see the Bridegroom.
Being prepared means always being in a state of readiness in body, mind, and spirit to do the right thing at the right moment. It means knowing how to do the right thing and having the faith to put what we know into action.
Prayer: Father, we desire to meet the Bridegroom at the wedding feast, but we are afraid that all bases have not been covered. What have we forgotten, neglected, used up, or spilled in our hearts? Help us to realize that to be prepared, we have to be tuned in to your Holy Spirit constantly. Help us to get all things right so that we can meet the Master when He comes. Amen.