Friday, November 7, 2014
In the parable of the ten bridesmaids, five were foolish and five were wise.
The wise ones brought extra oil for their lamps so they would remain ready for the bridegroom’s arrival. The foolish ones likely never gave readiness a second thought and ran out of oil just when they needed more. While the customs in the parable are far removed from our time, we can still relate to the challenge of waiting.
I must admit that I have not always done well with it. I know what it is to be impatient. The wise ones in the story waited actively, with anticipation and preparation. The foolish ones not so much as they lacked alertness fitting to the occasion. My waiting has been far from perfect.
Often we are left with the summons to be watchful, expectant and hope filled. This becomes real when we wait together - patiently present for one another. In this way we are reminded of whom and what we are waiting for.
The lamps of the bridesmaids burning bright in the midst of all the hard waiting bring the needed light and hope to the story. There is more here than just their waiting, more than their wisdom, more than their foolishness.
November brings to my mind this kind of vision – to see beyond the unremarkable and uneventful when it seems nothing much is happening on the landscape. The month of November in the church makes room for an anticipation of something yet far off and ever near: Our hope and expectation, O Jesus, now appear; arise, O Sun so longed for, o’er this benighted sphere. With hearts and hands uplifted, we plead, O Lord, to see the day of earth’s redemption that sets your people free. (ELW 244)