My son recently was engaged to be married! I’ll never forget the moment he told us that he knew she was the one. As a momma, there is a tender exchange as a son’s heart turns from home to her. There was a profound affinity in his heart toward her that he had not known before. She embodied the soul and nature he desired in a life partner.
I love the song “The Luckiest” by singer/songwriter Ben Folds. In it, the beautiful poetic lyric sings:
"…in a white sea of eyes, I see one pair that I recognize, and I know…that I am, I am, I am….the luckiest."
(Take a listen. It is whimsical and lovely. You just might melt.)
I think this says it well. My son knows and believes that he is "the luckiest." He is ready to make a lifelong commitment to her.
I love this idea of being so deeply known that in a crowded room I could be easily distinguished. Set apart. Imagine that captivating gaze, eyes locked almost as if everything else disappears into the distance and it’s just two pairs of eyes fixed on the other.
Loved ones, there is a lover of our souls who finds us in the midst of a crowd. There is a pursuer of our hearts who locks eyes with us. He is our bridegroom. Do you know Him? Are you ready for the day he will return to his bride? In Matthew 25:1-13, Jesus tells a parable:
“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. he wise ones, 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. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
In this parable Jesus is relating a well-known Middle East wedding custom to his followers to help them find connection to what he is really trying to teach them. In this tradition, the “bridesmaids“ had the job of lighting the way for the bridegroom to come. He would perhaps be traveling from another location, and they would hear a call that he was coming, and it was their job to be ready with their lamps burning to light the path for him.
Jesus teaching this parable focuses on the question of if we are carrying the light of Christ while we wait for the coming of Jesus.
Are we ready? Are you ready?
Notice how the parable states that there were five wise virgins and five foolish virgins. The wise had oil in jars along with their lamps. They were ready, and the foolish were not. The lamps the virgins brought were their own lamps, with each bridesmaid responsible for being light in the darkness preceding the bridegroom's arrival. When the foolish came unprepared, they tried to “borrow” oil from the others at the last minute.
Author and minister William Barclay said, “A man cannot borrow a relationship with God. He must possess it for himself. A man cannot borrow a character; he must be clothed with it. The time to make sure you are ready is now.”
Loved ones, do you know him? This life is full of distractions and attractions that turn our heads and take our gaze from Jesus and cause us to “fall asleep." All the events of the world around us can be overwhelming and cause us to reprioritize our lives to keep up with the many demands. Yet, in Matthew 6:33, Jesus reminds us again to:
“Seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
He is saying, what are you worried about? What are you waiting for? I am all that you need. You can fill your lamps full of oil every day. Live life abundantly with me now. Don’t wait. I want to know you. I want to fill your life with purpose and hope now. I want to fulfill your heart and walk with you through life on earth and into eternity. I want you to be with me on that great and glorious day of my coming.
Are you ready?
We don’t know when Jesus is coming for his bride, but we need to BE READY. We must know Him now.
He has given us free will to CHOOSE him…or not. He never forces or coerces us. We are not robots. We are His beloved whom He wants true relationship with. And in the end He will look among the sea of us and find “pairs of eyes” that He recognizes. That He knows. The great I AM will come to those who’ve filled their lamps with oil.
If you are not in relationship with Jesus, please reach out to us at Choose Ministry. We would love to pray for you and with you.