Even though it is not technically “wedding season,” it sure feels that way as we move through our series on the Kingdom Parables in the Gospel of Matthew. Last week, we took a look at how God’s Kingdom is like an immaculate wedding banquet that would put any earthly reception party to shame. This table would be overflowing with the best food and drink and the atmosphere will be unrivaled. The invitations have gone out (everyone is invited) and the party is on! This will be a gathering you won’t want to miss.
This week, we again get to hear the truth and power of God’s Word shared with us by one of our own. Manley Olsoe will be walking us through the beginning portion of Matthew 25 where Jesus describes another aspect of His Kingdom and likens it to a bridegroom that is coming. When He comes, He will bring the full party with Him, but in the meantime there is waiting. But before the wedding festivities can begin, there are preparations to be made. Key elements and logistics must be set and made ready so that when the bridegroom arrives, the celebration can begin.
This aspect of being prepared and being ready has always been a cultural component both in Jesus’ time and in ours today as well. This imagery we get about the importance and value of being ready for His second coming as illustrated in this coming wedding party reminds me of a story I read recently about a couple who wanted to have a destination wedding in Wales. They sent out some “Save the Dates” nearly a year in advance to inform their friends and family of their decision to get married across the pond on July 6, 2008 and wanted to see who would be able to make the necessary preparations and commitment to be there. Now, unfortunately, one of their best friends named Dave was so excited to arrive that he misread the invite and assumed that the wedding was happening in just a few short weeks…on July 6, 2007. Needless to say, that after booking a very expensive plane ticket and arriving in Wales to an empty venue with no one he recognized, he realized that he had been a little overzealous on his arrival.
While some of us smile and can chuckle at this oversight, I hope we can at least appreciate his conviction and his resolve. Dave was committed to making things happen to ensure he would be ready for his friends’ big day. In much the same way, Jesus uses this parable of the coming bridegroom to invite us to be ready and prepared for His return to take us home to be with Him forever. We are to be watchful and anticipating His coming again because we do not know when it will be. How should this excitement and uncertainty play itself out in our lives? On the one hand, we are not called to just sit around looking up at the sky, but we are also not to become so invested in the things of this world that we miss being ready. There is a fine balance and, thankfully, we have the power of God’s Spirit living inside of us that teaches and reminds us of everything He has said and gives us a directed hope for what lies ahead.
This week, let us also be given eyes to see and ears to hear this gracious and joyous reminder that our Bridegroom, Jesus, is coming soon and let our prayer be that we are among the ones that are eagerly waiting for Him, ready to join the party!
Pastor Ben Bigaouette