Focal Passage: Matt. 25:1-13
In March of 2006 our daughter was married on the beach in El Salvador. She had met and had fallen in love with a Christian man from that country. Part of our planning with them included wedding invitations. “We want the wedding to conclude as the sun is setting,” they said. “What time does that happen?” we asked. “Usually around 5:15. So I guess we need to invite everyone to come around 3:30.” “You don’t expect the service to last that long, do you?” “No,” they said, “but that way they will be there by 4:30.” Sure enough, some guests arrived at noon, others at 3:30 and the last ones arrived by 4:15. The wedding started at 4:30, right on time.
The uncertainty of when a wedding ceremony will actually begin seems very strange to us. We know exactly when the grandmothers and the mothers will be seated. We calculate to make sure the ceremony begins precisely on the hour.
The point of Jesus’ parable about the wise and foolish virgins is clear: “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” (Matt. 25:13). Much of Jesus’ discussion about the end times centers on this point: “You must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him” (Matt. 24:44).
The uncertainty about when Jesus will return should not lead us to question the certainty of His coming. We often live as though Jesus is not coming back to reclaim His bride and to transform this world. We are negligent in preparing ourselves and others to meet Him when He comes.
Several years ago the group, Newsong, wrote a song called “Fingertips and Noses.” It tells a story of a school for special children in Kentucky. The teacher tells the children about Jesus’ love and about His coming back to take us all to heaven. Suddenly all the children are at the windows, looking for Jesus to come. The chorus paints this picture:
Fingertips and noses pressed to the windowpanes.
Longing eyes, expectant hearts for Him to come again.
All they know is that they love Him so.
And if He said He’d come, He’s coming.
And they can’t keep their windows clean.
For fingertips and noses.
Where will Jesus find us when He comes again?
Will we be like little children waiting just for Him?