Monday, July 16, 2018

Keep Awake

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.” Matthew 25:1-13 
I loved being a girl scout, loved all the preparations for camping and the responsibilities we had when we were out in the woods. Being prepared was all an essential for being a good scout. I grew up by the ocean, and we always had preparations for the storms that might whip up with little warning. There were kerosene lamps, flashlights, jugs of water and canned food in endless supply if we were without power for a time. As a mother of three, I had to be prepared for every disaster as well. My children would kid me about the size of my purse, which was often a backpack, but they were glad for all the various supplies they could find within the same embarrassing bag. Being prepared takes away the anxiety of living through the day and it offers the opportunity to help other anxious people.
Jesus continues his teaching on the "end times". He wants us all to be prepared, so that we can be present for the needs and relationships that come up every day. The bridegroom (the return of the Christ) will come at a time which no one knows, so we are called to be awake and prepared so that we can focus on love rather than running around looking for help and for supplies. We are invited by God to have our hearts ready, our prayers said, and our lives prepared so that we can be of service to those around us, bringing the light of God's love to the darkest, most terrorized people and places.
Today, I ask God to help me prepare, body, mind and spirit for the days ahead. May we all be prepared and woke, so that we can be the beacons of love when there is crisis, overwhelming terror and when life's storms take us by surprise.

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