Preparedness by Deon Crafford
Matthew 25:10-13 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
It was a custom among the Jews for the bridegroom to come at night to the bride’s house, where her bridesmaids attended her. When the bridegroom’s approach was announced, these maidens went out with lamps to light his way into the house for the celebration.
I often contemplate this parable told by Jesus with a good helping of perplexity. It covers the foolishness, the lack of kindness and the readiness. Perhaps there is much more in this parable that speaks to me than just the planning and preparedness. If I take it that this parable reflects our readiness for the second coming of Jesus Christ, then the importance of my lamp burning bright at that time, represents my being filled or engaged with the Holy Spirit. It implores me to always be in touch with the Spirit so as to keep the lamp of my faith burning for when I shall accompany the bridegroom, being Jesus, into the new marriage of heaven and earth (Rev 22:1). And yet this readiness sounds like it is just about me entering in, so my preparedness is just for my own sake. Surely this is not what Jesus meant, but what the infilling of the Holy Spirit is, is to be prepared to constantly light the way into the wedding feast with the bridegroom. For who? For those who do not yet see the way. I cannot relegate readiness to that final moment of my life here on earth, as I have no idea when it may come. And when it does will I go pleading for oil – the infilling of the Holy Spirit – and will I be able to receive? Preparedness or readiness is for now. Let us have oil lamps oiled and perpetually supplied by the Spirit, so that we will constantly light the way. When He comes, I will be found in readiness and joy.
Love to all