Something my dad wrote for his grandpa’s newsletter. Kinda long, but worth the read.
In the parable of the ten virgins, the ten virgins were waiting for the bridegroom to come. It is nighttime and they have lamps burning brightly with oil while they wait. They fall asleep one by one, which is not criticized. Five girls had planned ahead with extra oil in their lamps, and they wouldn’t loan their oil to the other five who did not have extra oil. So while the five with no extra oil were out looking for more oil, the bridegroom’s arrival is loudly announced and he and the five girls and the rest of the bridal party goes inside. The five girls come back and they are locked out, and they are not let back in, because the bridegroom, says, “I don’t know you.”
This parable is interpreted many different ways, but most all agree it means we should live our life in such a way that we are always ready for the Lord’s return or our death, that we should be engaged in spiritual preparation for our life here and after our existence here. We should be engaged in spiritual disciplines that keep us in fellowship and touch with the bridegroom (Jesus) and our Heavenly Father – including the disciplines of having extra oil (staying filled with the Holy Spirit), prying without ceasing (not just at the 11:50 PM of our existence), rejoicing always, thanking God in all our circumstances (I Thessalonians 5:16-18), studying His Word daily (including times of meditating on those words), and the discipline of Hebrew 10:25, which is much more about not forsaking fellowshipping with one another than it is about coming to a church building (Ross Rohde translates the verse this way in historical and textual context – “Hey guys, it is great you are out turning the world upside down for Jesus, keep up the good work. However, some of you are so intent on doing good deeds for Jesus that you are in danger of drying up spiritually. You need each other, if nothing more, for the encouragement. Don’t stop meeting together, it isn’t good for your soul.”).
Make the kingdom of God the real center and focus of your life – don’t shove God/Jesus/the Holy Spirit into some small corner of your life “at the “last minute” every day/every week, etc. Like Mari was a real student, be a real disciple of Jesus Christ, enabled by God’s grace.
Note: In Matthew 25:1, many Greek texts have the bridegroom and the bride coming to the ten virgins – Bruce Metzger doesn’t think (in A Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament – United Bible Societies, 2nd edition, 1971) this destroys the traditional meaning of this parable that the bridegroom is coming is coming to fetch his bride, the church. The bringing of the bride by the bridegroom to his father’s home (or his) was very common in the ancient world. This is where the wedding would take place. A study of this parable, which this short article is not, is very profitable.