Third Sunday before Advent
Reading, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Gospel, Matthew 25:1-13, the parable of the ten bridesmaids.
What is the context of the parable? Jesus talks to his disciples during the final week before his crucifixion, the cross is hours away. He has been questioned by people who tried to downgrade and ridicule him. He also has spoken firmly to challenge people. Last week, I watched a documentary on King Arthur, was it a great enlightening ? Who reads David Crockett, the Lone Ranger, Robin Hood. Take King Arthur! Was he from Yorkshire? or was he born in Cornwall? The documentary put him in Scotland. We don't know where he lived either! Part of the documentary says that Arthur is coming again to save the world and that we do not need to worry. Arthur lives in our hearts and minds. I thought that it sounded very familiar!
Take Jesus though! We know who Jesus was, the name of his followers. We know where he lived, Israel, we know how he died and that he rose again. Lots of things that he said have been written down not thousand years later but forty years after he resurrected, in AD 70, this is because the temple was destroyed that year and if it had happened, it would have been mentioned.
Lots of documents, the whole of New Testament, half of the Codex Sinaiticus tell us about him. Those Christians took the word of Jesus seriously and wrote everything down accurately. No other contemporary of Jesus is documented as well as him...
I cannot prove He is alive but I can taste and see that the Lord is good. (Psalm 34:8) He is doing things in our life and this is no sheer coincidence. Jesus says: I am coming again and in this parable of the Ten bridesmaids, his message is 'be ready!' The oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit. If God is with us, we cannot live and ignore his message. Jesus has paid the price for us and has given us a new life. ' I am the resurrection and the life' (John 11: 25) You will never die. Do you believe it? Christ is claiming his bride, the Church. Jesus says some tough things.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
I took those notes last Sunday in Sandon church so I post them with some delay. Have a blessed week-end! Yours in Christ. N.