The Story for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost
Nov 8, 2020
prepared by the Rev’d Rhonda Waters
Jesus said, “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
Something to Do
Make an oil lamp
This is certainly not what the bridesmaids were carrying but it’s pretty cool – all you need is a bowl, some olive oil, and 100% pure cotton balls!
Check out the video here.
Get Ready to Wait
We have been waiting for the pandemic to end for over six months. When this started, people stocked up on toilet paper and flour and take out menus. We’re into a different phase of waiting now but responsible preparation is still needed. What do you need to do to make sure you are ready for the wait? Go ahead and do it.
Something to Wonder
What is your oil?
The bridesmaids needed enough oil to sustain them while they waited to meet the bridegroom and go to the party. What sustains you as you wait? Are you at risk of running low? How do you replenish it?
Foolishness and Wisdom
Imagine yourself as one of the foolish bridesmaids. How did you feel when the so-called wise bridesmaids refused to share their oil? When you found yourself locked out of the party?
Now imagine yourself as one of the wise bridesmaids. How did you feel when the so-called foolish bridesmaids asked for your oil? When you went into the party? When you heard the other bridesmaids knocking at the door?
What real world scenarios produce these emotions for you?
Something to Learn
The Politics of Representation
by Raj Bharat Patta on the blog Political Theology
The Parable of the Ten Virgins, a rare example of women appearing in the parables and sayings of the gospel, invites us to consider challenging questions of representation.
Something to Pray
Holy God, we do not always understand your word or your ways.
Give us wisdom and imagination and courage as we learn and grow.
The story this week has made me wonder about…
(what questions are still on your heart?)
Receive my questions and help me hear your answers.
The story this week has filled me with…
(how are you feeling?)
Accept my praise, heal my hurt, ease my worry.
The story this week has reminded me of…
(are there situations or people you are thinking of?)
Be with all who are in need of you.
In Jesus’ name, we pray.