Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’ “And he added, “These are the true words of God.” – Revelation 19:9
As I’m writing this article I’m thinking of the wedding ceremony that I will be officiating at this afternoon. An old friend of mine is embarking on a brand new journey in life; one that will require constant vigilance and prayer and trust in the Lord as the bedrock foundation of the marriage.
God ordained marriage to be between one woman and one man for life. The man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one. Gen 2:24
Now since we live in a fallen world, things don’t always work out the way that we imagine and hope they will so we sometimes find ourselves going back to square one and starting over. We learn from our mistakes and we start afresh and anew vowing to be vigilant and guard ourselves against the attacks of the enemy who seeks to destroy all that God has built and blessed. Remember, God ordained marriage and if we build our relationships on Christ, God will bless them.
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ”‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13)
Sometimes I think we underestimate the parable of the virgins. We were always told it represented Jesus return, and our duty to be ready, but I think there’s more to it. We are, in a sense, the wedding party for Christ’s marriage to the Church. Like the bridesmaids and groomsmen, it’s our responsibility to help prepare the celebration by following Christ and working to serve him. It also means we’ll have to endure a long night filled with uncertainty, and our faith, like the lamp oil, must constantly be replenished. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, but when the groom arrives and the celebration begins, there’s no doubt it will all have been worth it.
Take some time to read Jesus’ parables and reflect on their meanings.