25 “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.
I am struck by the key theme of readiness in this parable from Jesus. Jesus is talking about when He returns to usher in the Kingdom of Heaven, and He is calling us to be ready for Him.
But what does it mean for me to be ready? To have my lamp burning with light, and plenty of spare oil to keep it burning. I take these as metaphors for my personal faith, my personal passion for Him and His mission in the earth – am I still, by faith, being obedient to His call, with plenty of motivation left in the system?
A lamp and oil are simple (and in the times of Jesus) essential items for each day – especially after sunset. How much am I investing in the essentials of my faith, daily, in order to have good light and plenty of oil ready for the day of Jesus’ return?
Lord, continue to teach me what it means to be ready for your return.
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh