Our scripture this week is Matthew 25:1-13, taken today from the Christian Standard Bible (CSB).

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they didn’t take oil with them; but the wise ones took oil in their flasks with their lamps. When the groom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “In the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him.’ “Then all the virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ “The wise ones answered, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Go instead to those who sell oil, and buy some for yourselves.’ “When they had gone to buy some, the groom arrived, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. Later the rest of the virgins also came and said, ‘Master, master, open up for us!’ “He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you!’ “Therefore be alert, because you don’t know either the day or the hour.

Jesus says that being ready for His return, whenever God commands it, is the most important task we have. He has used many examples such as this to explain God’s plan for us and our part in His kingdom. All of these point to a call on our lives, a duty to respond, not just listen.

The gifts God gives us imply a responsibility to use them for the good of His children. We have often abused those gifts, using them only for ourselves instead of for God’s purpose. When we use His creation wrongly, we waste the gift and the opportunity we were given to advance His kingdom.

While God needs no help from us, He has graciously called us to take part in what He does. Jesus told us to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). Sharing His love so others may recognize their gifts and use them wisely is part of being ready for His return.

Merciful God, we are sorry for the times we ignore Your gifts and our responsibility to Your kingdom. Make us strong in Your love to share the Good News with everyone. Amen.

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