November 07, 2022


Devotion for the Week...

One morning a couple of weeks ago I woke up to Paul saying, "Sweetheart!" in a rather concerned voice. I looked at the alarm clock and realized I hadn't set the alarm the night before and it was 7:23. Normally the alarm is set for 6:30 and I can expect the childcare littles to start arriving any time after 7:45. That meant I had 22 minutes to be ready to face them. You better believe I jumped out of bed and scrambled! I'm so glad Paul woke up when he did! It was a rush, but I did manage to be ready before the first child arrived. I don't recommend it as a way to start your day, though.

That feeling of scrambling to get ready stayed with me for a long time and eventually it made me think of the parable Jesus told about the 10 bridesmaids in Matthew 25:1-13. In the parable, 10 bridesmaids are out waiting for the bridegroom to come. They've each brought their own lamp, but only 5 thought to bring extra oil for the lamps. The bridegroom was late and the 10 bridesmaids all fell asleep, then woke suddenly when someone shouted, "Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!" (v. 6). The bridesmaids all scrambled to get their lamps burning bright, but half of them  found they were out of oil and asked their wise counterparts to share. "But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves" (v. 9). Of course, while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom arrived and everyone went in to the wedding party, leaving them locked outside. When they asked to be let in, the bridegroom replied, "Believe me, I don’t know you!" (v. 12). Jesus then sums up the meaning of the parable by saying, "So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return" (v. 13).

I could identify with how the foolish bridesmaids felt as they scrambled to get the oil. Unlike me on that no-alarm morning, though, the bridesmaids weren't able to get ready in time.

In doing a bit of research about the meaning of the parable, I found that people in wedding processions in those days were each required to have their own lamp or torch and anyone without a light would be assumed to be crashing the party. I also read that the oil in the parable represents a person's acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. The bridegroom in the parable represents Jesus, who is the bridegroom of the church, and we are to be ready for when He returns, without knowing when that return will happen.

The wise bridesmaids represent those people who have accepted Jesus as Savior and are living their lives in light of the salvation. It is people who are living by the Spirit as best they can. The foolish bridesmaids represent those who are associated with the church but don't have a relationship with Jesus. This is people who are relying on being 'good enough' rather than admitting their need of salvation.
We can't share our salvation |
The foolish bridesmaids asked the others to share their oil, but we can't share our salvation. Each person has to accept Jesus for themselves. I can't believe for you and you can't believe for me. Not only that, but there will come a time when there is no more time to make that decision. People who have put it off may one day find they have waited too long and they won't be able to scramble fast enough to get ready to meet Him.


  1. I love this story. And I am so pleased to see it on a quilting blog.

  2. Thanks for this 'down to earth' explanation of this parable.

  3. Refreshing. Thank you as we all default to being flawed humans, our true hope to sit at the banquet table is our salvation. Have a blessed one in your ministry with the wee ones.


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