A MESSAGE BY PASTOR KENT MUNSEY
Matthew 25:1-13 is not a parable about bridesmaids and bridegrooms; it is a parable about readiness.
There are ten bridesmaids in the story, selected for a very specific role. The role of the bridesmaids in Jesus’ day was to await the groom’s return, when he would come back from preparing a home and a life for his bride-to-be. When he arrived, the bridesmaids would meet him with their lamps or torches and lead him to the bride’s home, and then escort him with his bride to the celebration. It was a great honor for these young women to be selected. It signaled that they were ready to enter into marriage themselves, and it was an opportunity for them to be on display to their community.
In this story, only five of the ten selected bridesmaids were prepared to receive the groom when he arrived. The other five were unprepared, and their lack of preparation caused them to miss their moment.
Are you preparing for what God has prepared for you?
What caused the foolish bridesmaids to be unprepared and miss the groom’s arrival? There are three different postures we see unpreparedness take: Procrastination, Mis-prioritization, and Presumptuousness. While the groom prepares, the bridesmaids are also expected to prepare.
Just like the groom, God is preparing divine moments for us. Are you preparing for what he has prepared for you? When you’re faithful with a little, God can trust you with more. Don’t presume you always have tomorrow. There are windows of opportunity in strategic times in your life, and you can miss them if you’re not prepared.
There are two Greek words in the Bible for time:
Chronos - circular, cyclical - a 2D treadmill perspective.
Kairos - a specific moment or appointment in time. 3-dimensional, like a spiral staircase--it’s either moving you up or down.
God created Kairos so we don’t lose track of where we’ve been or where we’re going. Many of us get stuck in “chronos” time, and life seems to be moving in circles: another day, another church service. We begin to procrastinate, presume and mis-prioritize, and then wonder why we aren't advancing. The foolish didn’t realize that their procrastination was actually moving them downward, away from God.
But when we realize that God has created specific appointments for each of us — “kairos moments,” — we see that life is not moving in a circle at all. Each decision that we make regarding how we spend our time either moves us closer to the calling that God has on our lives, or farther away from it.
The ten started out as complete, but the ten became five. When the five foolish bridesmaids realized they were lacking, they gave themselves permission to run further away from the groom. The faithful five, although they were now incomplete, still showed up and were welcomed into the celebration as if they were complete--they became a ten again. The number five in the Bible is a symbol for grace. When we just show up and are faithful, God completes us! He does the work and makes up for our our lack.
It’s not our strength but his strength. What’s keeping you from showing up? Don’t run from God when you’re not enough; run TO God because he’s MORE than enough! Whatever you lack, his grace is sufficient! We don’t have to stay stuck in time circling on the treadmill of life. We can make a decision to be present and prepare ourselves for the lives that God has for us.
Are you prepared for what God has for you today? This week? This month? If you will be faithful to show up, God will be faithful to show out.
Dear God, thank you for the divine appointments that you have for our lives. Our prayer is that we would be wise with our time, so that we may be prepared when the opportunity comes. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!