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. Theywish 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 ofthe faithful and wicked servants. The image to help prepare for this theme is different gifts.