Matthew 25:1-13 –- Our reading is the inspiration for the hymn, “Wake Awake, for Night is flying.” The bridegroom comes at midnight. Surprise! Who would imagine a bridegroom coming for his bride at the ungodly hour when the world is asleep? It is the least expected time. Those who stay up late are surely in bed by midnight, and even the early risers would not get up at midnight.
Jesus said His return would be like this. No one would know the day and hour — so be ready! Moreover, the signs of His coming are associated with the midnight of day, which becomes the noonday of hell: wars, earthquakes, catastrophes, fear, and so on. When times are at their worst and when people are at their lowest and darkest moments, Christ will come.
Collect for Pentecost 23: Almighty God, we pray, show Your humble servants your mercy that we, who put no trust in our own merits, may be dealt with not according to the severity of your judgment but according to your mercy; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Image: The Ten Virgins, copyright © Ed Riojas, Higher Things
 Collect for Pentecost 23, Lutheran Worship © 1980 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis