“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps,but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’ “All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’ “But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’ “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return. – Matthew 25:1-13 (NLT)
It was a custom in Jesus’ Israel for the groom to come to the home of the bride and have a ceremony at the bride’s house. Because of travel being slow, weddings did take place in the middle of the night. This scenario isn’t far-fetched to Jesus’ first hearers. The point, however, is the bridesmaids (or virgins) knew the possibility of the night-time arrival of the groom yet they were not prepared. Somehow, time had slipped away from them. The busyness of life got in their way. Jesus is saying that if schedules can get too busy for people to be prepared for even the biggest events in this life, we must guard and prepare ourselves for the biggest event of all – when eternity becomes reality.
What is life throwing at you that stops you from being prepared for Jesus’ return? What spiritual disciplines do you incorporate into your regular calendar (these include studying scripture, praying, fasting, confessing your sins to God, worshipping God, fellowshipping with believers who encourage us to walk more closely with God, etc.)? What are steps you can take today to orient your life to be someone who doesn’t allow the busyness of life to get in the way of your relationship with and preparedness to meet Jesus?