Luther Seminary God Pause
Friday, 11/7/2014 Reading: Matthew 25:1-13
One of the greatest challenges in a parish setting is to shift gears suddenly when new opportunities or needs are identified. "What about those committees," you might ask. Several years ago there was a rare and damaging ice storm that blew through our community, leaving many people without power or heat. The church, however, was well positioned to serve the neighborhood--it had heat, electricity and a fully functioning kitchen. The only ingredient missing was the people to open the doors to make it happen.
Throughout the Bible there's a lot of talk about waiting on God. When you study the contexts in which we hear this talk, one soon learns that waiting is not inactivity but involves a lot of work. It's not unlike the story in the gospel about the effort needed to wake up in the middle of the night in order to attend the bridegroom's party. Clearly, waiting for God's plan to unfold takes one's full attention to stay alert and ready.
Eternal God, help us to stay awake and focus on that which you would have us do as we wait. May our lamps be full and our wicks trimmed as we pass the night away. Amen.>
Keith Anderson Pastor, First Lutheran Church Ketchikan, Ala. Master of Divinity, 1989
Matthew 25:1-13 (NRSV)
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.
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