Wake-up Call

Matthew 25: 1-13

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this.”


In the story Jesus tells about the wise and foolish bridesmaids, the foolish find themselves facing a door that has closed. “Lord, lord, open to us,” they said. But the bridegroom replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.”

Jesus and his disciples had been discussing the end of the age and the final judgment. The wise were prepared and the foolish missed the party at the end of time. “Keep awake therefore,” Jesus concludes, “for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

In good Jesus style, the foolish bridesmaids’ fate is both warning and invitation.  It is a wake-up call in the form of a “stay awake to God” parable. This story is meant to grab our attention and to disturb us enough to get us to respond.

What does God want from us?

Jesus put it bluntly. God wants us inside the door of the ultimate kingdom party when that day comes, but we have to do our part to get ready and to show up on time. Getting ready means a life of daily commitment to God, kingdom living here and now, and relationship with Jesus. It is entirely possible to choose otherwise, and Jesus is telling us we don’t actually have forever to decide. A day will come when that door will close.

For those who love Christ, there could be no more distressing words than “I do not know you.”  This is our wake-up call.

What would it mean if we were to respond to this call today, not out of fear of hell or damnation, but out of an awakened understanding that the very definition of hell is to live apart from the love, mercy, grace, and peace of God?

The joy of the wedding banquet is the joy of knowing and being intimately known. It is the joy of God’s love that does not fail and does not end. The wise do not forget. The wise live everyday with this party in mind.

The door to the banquet hall is wide open. God wants us all there. How will we use today to prepare? How will we help one another stay awake to God’s great love in Jesus Christ?

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Wake-up Call

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  1. How will we help one another stay awake to God’s great love in Jesus Christ? I really like this question, the focus is not what will I do, me alone, but on what we will do for each other. Kingdom building is not an individual task it is a community task, and this question gets to the heart of what kingdom building is. So as to how, I am still working on that but I think some elements are: sharing our stories, our pain, making spaces that are emotionally safe and providing opportunities to work for the people who do not have the access to service or voice in there community. We needed to remind each other on a regular basis that we are God’s beloved children. Walking the path as a community is not well promoted in many churches because salvation is an individual achievement, not a community effort. And yet we cannot walk the path alone.

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    1. This is beautiful and encouraging, Kristin. Right now I am thinking a lot about how to expand this church’s opportunities for members to work (together) for others who are struggling in the community. Doing that out of an emotionally safe place won’t just happen – and your words are a helpful reminder to me to focus on that community-building as a key aspect to living out the call to serve.

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  2. I hear that from others all the time and have the same thought at times. What does God want from “me”? How does one know God’s will? We pray about it and expect God to give us a spoken word. But, that rarely comes. I think that if we continually think of and do for others as Jesus taught us and follow the commandments, we are making God smile.

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    1. So often what I feel like I get in response to my prayer is an assurance of God’s presence and God’s love. Not so much do this or do that, but a trust that God is with me.

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