November 8

Matthew 25:8-13

“And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut.” vs. 10

While the parable of the wise and the foolish bridesmaids is uncomplicated, it arouses a variety of questions for contemporary followers of Jesus. In its original context it seems designed to encourage believers to remain faithful and not be discouraged as they waited for the expected return of Jesus. But what is it for us? For most the whole idea of the Second Coming has been ruined by literalism–we’re really not expecting to hear trumpets sound and see Jesus descending on a cloud. So what is it that we’re supposed to be ready for? Is it our deaths, which could indeed come unexpectedly, or is there something else? And if we’re not ready when this big something happens, could we miss out on heaven? Or maybe the Second Coming is the appendix of the Creeds, and we should just remove it. Some might like that–but the move would be disastrous. The Second Coming is the belief that this world is not going to stay the same forever. Some day all the bigotry, racism, killing, power struggles, and mayhem will be at an end. The needs of the poor will be met and the hungry will be fed. To believe in the Second Coming is to say that one day love and compassion will rule. We have to hang on to that promise, even if the day is delayed. Amen, come Lord Jesus!

Thought for the Day: What will the Second Coming be like?

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