Give me oil for my lamp…



It’s tricky sometimes.  It’s tricky to find good news in some gospel texts, and that’s how I feel this week…when we really, really need some good news.  Because here we are…again…trying to process the news of yet another mass shooting.  Our text for this Sunday is Matthew 25:1-13. It’s the story of the ten bridesmaids, five of them wise and five of them foolish, waiting for the bridegroom. The wise bridesmaids take flasks of oil for their lamps with them.  The foolish ones don’t.  When the bridegroom returns in the middle of the night, the wise bridesmaids, of course, have light for their path.  The foolish ones don’t.  So, this text raises questions for me.  If this is a story about the second coming of Christ, I wonder…

I wonder about the wise bridesmaids.  Why won’t they share their oil?

I wonder about the fate of the foolish bridesmaids.  They are shut out of the wedding banquet, and the lord says he doesn’t even know them.

I wonder why Jesus says, “Keep awake!” because all the bridesmaids had fallen asleep, even the wise ones.

And I wonder what this says to us?

Any ideas?  I’d love to hear them!  In the meantime, though, as I was contemplating this text on my drive to my “office” at One Eleven Coffee in Wyoming this morning, a song popped into my head—an oldie but a goody that I learned at church camp a few decades back—“Give Me Oil for My Lamp.” I think it speaks to the grace of this text.  After all, who gives us the oil for our lamps? It’s not something we’ve earned.  It’s a gift.  Even as we wrestle with questions about our faith and questions about our world, we can celebrate the gift…together.  And in these difficult days, may we trust the One who is the true source of light and love.