Pay careful attention then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise. Make the most of the time, because the days are evil. Don't be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.
- Ephesians 5:15-17
The week before I married Dennis Worley, I woke up every night in a sweat. I had the worst nightmares. In every one of them, my wedding was a disaster.
I dreamed that someone had taken pinking shears to my dress, making it tea length and wickedly uneven.
I dreamed that someone had stolen all my shoes and left only a blue pair.
I dreamed that as I came down the aisle, the groom who turned around was Not Dennis, but nobody could hear me screaming, "Not him! Not him!"
I dreamed that I was out playing tennis (tennis?), and they came looking for me, crying, "It's time for your wedding! You have to come now! No, come just like you are!" I was sweaty and my hair was frizzy, but a bouquet was shoved in my hand and I was sent down the aisle in tennis whites, crying, "No, no! Let me get ready!"
Seriously, I was so relieved when I actually got to the church in the dress and the shoes with the right groom. Everything after that is kind of a blur.
I was thinking about those dreams this week—especially the tennis one (tennis, what?)—because this is our last Wednesday Bible study, and the story is about a wedding and some girls who were not ready for it.
Life with God is like ten bridesmaids who took torches and oil and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were foolish and five were wise. The foolish bridesmaids took torches, but no extra oil. The wise bridesmaids took jars of oil to feed their torches, The bridegroom didn't show up when they expected, and they all fell asleep waiting.
But here's what we know from last week's story, the end of the book, Revelation: There is a wedding feast. There is a Bridegroom and he is coming for us. Soon, he says.
When is soon?
Close your eyes and try to forget everything you know about weddings today. Try to hear what Jesus says:
I am going to prepare a place for you.
That's what bridegrooms did in Jesus' day. They pledged themselves to a woman — actually to her family. And then they went off to their family's compound and prepared a place for their life together. They built a little house or a room on their family compound, and they furnished it.
If I go away, I will come back for you.
When everything was ready for that life together, the bridegroom came for his bride. Maybe even in the middle of the night, he came striding through the streets of the village, all his friends with him. And they were singing. And the bride's friends all ran out to meet him, torches in hand. And they sang and danced as he came to claim his bride. And then everybody went to his house and partied 'til they dropped.
That's what's going to happen, Jesus said.
You don't get to know that part.
No one knows the day or the hour, not even the Son. Only the Father.
The bride doesn't set the date. We don't manage the guest list. We don't even pick out the dress. God does. Life with God doesn't work like life in this world. The wise person understands this and lives accordingly.
We don't get a "Save the Date" from Jesus. So we save every date. Every day is the day he could come for us. When the Father says, "Ready."
Are you ready?
Click here to listen to the story of the Ten Bridesmaids
and download the Bible study.