Our scripture this week is Matthew 25:1-13.

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘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.’ “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. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

In this lesson Jesus teaches about being ready for the coming of the kingdom, using the illustration of a wedding party awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom. While this example may seem strange to us, it was the custom of that time and those who heard would understand. Waiting for the bridegroom to arrive was a sometimes boring duty, but the party would begin after that.

Jesus teaches us that we must wait patiently for His return as well and we will “not know the day or the hour” (v. 13). Why must it be a surprise? Why can’t Jesus tell us when it will be? Mark 13:32 says “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father“.

In Acts 1:7 He tells the disciples “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority”. God doesn’t have to explain Himself to anyone, even the Son and the angels, and certainly not to us. He wants us to be ready at any time, always keeping His commandments and sharing His love.

Wise and wonderful God, we are curious about many things and often seek to know that which is not meant for us. Help us to focus on what is most important – our connection to You and others through Your love. Amen.

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