Proper 27, Year A
Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus is now finished with the confrontations and moved on to talking about preparing for what is ahead. This parable warns of what happens when one does not prepare for something you know is going to happen.
In that culture, weddings were a bit different than they are in our culture. The bridegroom, his family and guests would gather in their house, the bride, her family and guests would gather at their house. When they were ready, the groom and his family would make their way to the bride’s house. Upon their arrival, the groom would take his bride inside the house to consummate the marriage, and they were then married. After the bride and groom join their family and guests again, the party would begin.
This being the case, there was not a definite start time, but you knew it was going to happen on a given day or the day after. You were to prepare and stay prepared and be ready for the celebration that ensued after the marriage took place.
Our lesson for Matthew today is saying that the kingdom of heaven is like this. How so? For Matthew’s community, it was about being immediately ready for Christ to come back and not to fall asleep on watch. 2000+ years later, the message is still to be ready, but in a slightly different way. The kingdom of heaven is both in the future and in the present. The kingdom of heaven is happening now – so how are we prepared? How are we sustaining our life of faith and lighting our lamps with extra oil to show the world who God is?