One day Jesus told his disciples about a special wedding that would someday take place. It was planned to be an evening wedding. Each guest was asked to bring an oil lamp to light the way for the …
One day Jesus told his disciples about a special wedding that would someday take place. It was planned to be an evening wedding. Each guest was asked to bring an oil lamp to light the way for the coming of the bridal party. When all the lamps were lit a bright glow would turn the festivities into a radiant jubilee.
At this particular wedding, all the guests arrived early — apparently expecting the bridal procession to show up any minute. But the minutes turned into hours and pretty soon the weary guests started to doze off to sleep. They weren’t intending to sleep. They were intending to be part of an exciting celebration — at least that’s what usually happens at weddings. But, apparently, not this one.
Why the delay? Jesus told this story because he wants his friends to be prepared for his coming — just like you would want your friends to be ready if you were planning a wedding. At the time of Jesus’ first advent, oil lamps for personal use were like small flashlights today, having only enough power to last a few hours. Given their small size, most of these lamps often required an additional oil supply — a reserve for when there might be an unexpected delay. Unfortunately, this time, many of the guests forgot or did not plan for the unanticipated delay and, when the bridal party finally arrived, their lamps went out.
Anxious, and perhaps embarrassed by their apparent lack of planning, they ask their friends to help. “Lend me some of your oil for my lamp,” they pleaded.
Have you ever had a flashlight that took more than one battery? If the batteries go dead, it does not work to replace only one bad battery with one good one. You may get a little light, but it will soon stop working. If you ask a friend to give up some of their batteries, soon both of your lights will be out. The friends must say no. It’s not that they don’t want to help, they simply can’t. It’s not possible. If they did, both lights would go out. There is only one option for you — hurry to the store and get more batteries.
That’s what happened in this wedding story. Unfortunately, the superstore was probably far across town, or the traffic was terrible. No matter what, it took much longer than they expected. By the time they returned, the grand and glorious entrance for the wedding party had finished. Everyone had gone inside. The door was now closed and no one was allowed to enter once the festivities had begun.
They were too late! All dressed up and no place to go. The light show was over and they were left outside in the cold and developing darkness.
So here we are today, many centuries have passed since the story was told. Are we ready for the wedding celebration? It is an important question everyone must answer.
If you’re not ready, the good news is that heaven’s superstore is still open. There is still time to get extra spiritual batteries. What are you waiting for? If you wait too long your light will forever go out, your spiritual power source will fail, and you will hear the final words, “I’m sorry, you’re too late, you can’t come in.”
Don’t wait any longer! Ask God to help prepare you for his wedding celebration. Choose today to let your light shine!
(Steve Nelson pastors the Powell and Cody Seventh-day Adventist Churches.)