Today's Reading: Matthew 25:1-13
But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. (Matthew 25:5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The bridesmaids "fell asleep"--a common biblical way of saying they died. It may very well be that our Lord comes back while we are living. But it may be that we fall asleep before He arrives. Therefore, when the call goes out and you are awakened, will you have oil in your lamp?
Well, what's the oil? What oil do you need to have in your lamp to be ready for Christ's return? The oil is the Word. The Holy Spirit. All that Christ gives you to have forgiveness and life. After all, Jesus is the Light of the world, so whatever it is that lights the lamp is what He gives us.
Those who didn't have enough oil are those who don't die in the Lord. When Jesus comes back there will be no time for running around trying to get faith, to have the Holy Spirit, to be saved. Jesus is teaching us that now in this life is the time to be prepared for His coming.
When our Lord was crushed by our sins on Calvary, the oil of His forgiveness and faith was given to us by the Spirit through the Word and Sacraments. That's what prepares you. To live apart from your Baptism and Christ's Word and Body and Blood is to live as the foolish virgins, thinking there is something else by which you can be prepared, or not worrying about being prepared.
But Christ has prepared you. He has made you ready. Baptized? You're ready. Absolved of your sins? Ready. Christ's death and resurrection preached to you? Ready. Christ's Body and Blood in you? You're ready. After all, Jesus Himself has prepared you and when He comes again and the door is open, then in you go. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Absolve, we implore You, O Lord, Your people from their offenses, that from the bonds of our sins which by reason of our frailty we have brought upon us we may be delivered by Your bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Sunday of the Fulfillment)