Monday, July 12, 2010

Oil Lamps

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. Matthew 25:1-4

In this part of the world, growing up, there were oil lamps all over our house, and every one else I knew. If you live by the water, where storms and winds are common, you know that electricity is a fragile and inconsistent gift. We live by it but we don't bet out lives on it. I knew when I was very small where all the lamps were kept, how to light them and how to replenish the oil. We have large metal containers, always kept full and replenished, so that in case of the inevitable, we were prepared. There were many other ways we prepared for life's normal challenges by the ocean.

Jesus tells a story about wise and foolish virgins. From what I know their job was to light the way, to be those who met the arriving royalty. There were five of them who were not prepared for the delay, and ran out of oil, and so are said to be outside of God;s kingdom. Well, I have always been puzzled and hurt by this story and can't imagine a loving God excluding those who failed at their duties. We all fail at our duties. But I also know how important it is to do what we can when we are able, when we have strength and capacity, we should be doing all we can to light others way.

Today, a day when have had a bug and struggle to stay awake, I want to thank God for all the healthy and strong days I have and to ask God to use me for lighting the way of others. May we all trim our lamps and be ready to do what we can for the life of others.

No comments: