|Wilhelm Von Schadow, Wise and Foolish Virgins.|
Matthew 25 1-13
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’
7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’
9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’
10 “But 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.
11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’
12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’
13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Just one life. Just one. And at the end, we will meet Christ, the bridegroom.
Are we living in readiness for him? Or are we totally unprepared?
Christ says, “Be ready, because you don’t know the day or the hour. And when he returns, no one can help us out. We have to take personal responsibility for our readiness.
What it means to keep one’s lamp filled with oil varies according to our calling. For me, it would mean learning to keep my eyes on Jesus through the day. Being faithful to my calling as a writer, be it “less or more, or soon or slow, mean or high” as Milton writes about his calling in Sonnet 23.
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