Wednesday, November 4, 2020

November 05, 2020 – Thursday prior to Pentecost 23 (Proper 27)

Thursday, November 05, 2020Matthew 25:1-13 – Five girls are wise and five are foolish. Could there be that many foolish people? According to this, five go to heaven and five to hell; five have life and five have death; five have joy and five are miserable. We fall into one of these two categories. There is no in-between state. When it comes to being prepared for Christ’s return, we are either wise in being prepared or foolish in not being ready to receive him.

Christ’s return is delayed, because the first Christians expected his return in their lifetimes. Since this time, there were Christians in each century who expected the last great day to happen within a short time. Here it is now twenty years into the twenty-first century and He still has not come. We humans tend to get weary in waiting to the point that we conclude He is not coming in our time. This results in carelessness expressed in “sleep” (v. 5) and not having an adequate supply of “oil” (v. 3). The delay is fraught with danger for us.

The Day of the Lord is “darkness, and not light” (Amos 5:18, 20) for all who trust in their own righteousness and piety. The Lord will not accept their “burnt offerings and grain offerings,” nor will He look upon their “peace offerings” (Amos 5:22). Instead, He desires a heart of faith that trusts in Him, which lets “justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24) in love for the neighbor.

In order for the “lamps” of our lives to burn brightly with such love, we must be filled with the “oil” of forgiveness through faith in our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ (Matthew 25:1–4). Therefore, as we await His coming, wisdom directs us “to the dealers” (Matthew 25:9), that is, to the ministers of His Gospel. Thus we wait upon the Lord, and we “encourage one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Waking or sleeping, we are prepared to meet Him when He comes “with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God,” and “we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17).[1]

Collect for Proper 27Lord God, heavenly Father, send forth Your Son to lead home His bride, the Church, that with all the company of the redeemed we may finally enter into His eternal wedding feast; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.[2]

Image: The Ten Virgins, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things

[1] Lectionary Summary © Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

[2] Collect for Proper 27, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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