The gospel lesson this week is about a wedding once more. This time ten young bridesmaids are waiting to greet the bridegroom. It starts getting late, midnight in fact, and five of the girls don’t have enough oil. So off they scurry to attempt to buy more and while they are gone the bridegroom arrives and they wind up locked out of the party. The Lord of the household says he does not know them.
Okay, let’s identify who represents whom. The bridegroom in the story is Jesus. We are the bridesmaids. The Lord is God.
The issue, it seems to me, arises when the five bridesmaids went off to find more oil at midnight. That is obviously an impossible mission. But nevertheless, it distracted them from the task at hand, being ready for the bridegroom. The easy understanding is that we must be ready for the return of Christ or we may miss our opportunity to enter the party.
But here’s another take. Jesus died for us all. So the idea of missing the opportunity doesn’t make sense to me. Instead, I think about the Lord saying to them, “I do not know you.” I translate this as “I do not have a relationship with you.” It seems to me this story is about the relationship God seeks to have with each of us.
We are being asked to avoid distractions, none of which are as important as our relationship with God. Stay on task. Worship, read scripture, and pray. Spend time with each other and spend time with God. After all, think about it. Who better to spend time with?