Exploring the Sunday Gospel - Third Sunday Before Advent


Today is the Third Sunday before Advent. Today’s Gospel reading comes from the fifth (and
final) block of Jesus’ teaching presented in Matthew’s Gospel. Here the parable of the foolish
bridesmaids who brought no oil for their lamps serves as a reminder for us to be prepared and
to stay alert. We are encouraged to follow the example of the wise bridesmaids who brought
enough oil to keep their lamps burning until the bridegroom arrives and invites them into the
wedding banquet.

For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during
the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of batteries. In today’s picture from
their book, Christmas crib service, Aled and Sian have walked through the dark streets. They
wish that they had remembered to buy batteries for their torches.

Lord Jesus Christ,
you welcome those
who are prepared for your coming.
Fill our lamps with oil that never runs out,
that our lives may shine
ready for your kingdom;
for you reign for ever.

Next Sunday is the Second Sunday before Advent when the Gospel reading is the parable of
the faithful and wicked servants. The image to help prepare for this theme is different gifts.
You can find out more about that theme by looking at the Educational Resources and the
Preparation Resources.

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