Here is a text conversation I had with my husband recently:
Me: I just send you the menu of the restaurant where we are eating next week
Brant: Nice. looks like some good stuff. Planning ahead?
Me: I just like to be prepared
Brant: You still won't be ready when they ask :)
I am pretty good at planning ahead. But not very good at waiting. When I have to wait too long for things I start to worry. And question my decisions. And get distracted and forget what I am waiting for and then I am not prepared. Anyone else like this?
Sometimes I can also over prepare for waiting. I am known for taking a whole truckload of books and things to do to places where I might have to wait - just in case. (And in most cases don't need any of it!) Sound familiar?
Jesus told a parable about waiting and being ready in the Gospel of Matthew.
Read Matthew 25: 1-13
This is the story of the ten bridesmaids who were waiting with their lamps and oil to light the way for the groom to the banquet. Some were prepared and brought extra oil. Some didn't. And when the groom is late, the bridesmaids without the extra oil were out of luck. They went to get more, and they missed the groom and missed their entrance into the banquet,
This passage in Matthew is part of Jesus' discourse about the end of times. I am guessing he's talking about wanting us to be prepared and ready for when he will come again. We live in a time where there's a lot of things for which we don't have to wait. We can instantly communicate and look up information on our phones. We are so used to instant gratification, answers, and immediate responses for friends that we get frustrated when we have to wait too long for anything. Jesus, the Bible, and our church season remind us that waiting is part of our faith journey, We are just about to enter into the season Advent where we wait - and prepare ourselves for the celebration of the birth of Christ. Lent offers us the same (only longer) time of waiting and reflection.
Maybe during it's during the times that we wait where we will encounter Christ and connect with the God who loves us all.
So here is what I am thinking about this week:
How do we wait?
How do we prepare?
How do we keep hope?
(Especially when we are not exactly sure why and for what we are waiting.)
So what do we do while we wait?
We don't know when Jesus will be with us again as promised in the scriptures. But while were are here in this Kingdom of God on earth, we can use the time to everyday figure out how to better live in community with one another. How to better love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus uses this parable to remind us to work at being ready. He reminds us that this is really not as good as it gets and we should live in hope for what is promised and what will be ... and what is not yet.