Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25:13 NRSV)
Jesus told a parable about ten young women--bridesmaids--who had a specific responsibility in a wedding celebration. They were to meet the bridegroom and to escort him into the wedding. But the bridegroom was late and the bridesmaids fell asleep. At midnight there was a cry, "Behold, here comes the bridegroom; go out to meet him." The bridesmaids hurriedly trimmed their lamps, but because of the delay, their supply of oil was depleted. Half of the bridesmaids were smart; they had brought extra oil. But the other half failed to bring extra oil for their lamps and their lamps had gone out. They tried to borrow oil from those who had brought extra, but they were rebuffed.

What choice did they have but to leave the wedding site and head for the closest Wal-mart to buy more lamp oil? While they were gone the bridegroom arrived, and he and the five bridesmaids who had brought extra oil went into the wedding and the door was shut. When the five unprepared bridesmaids returned, they were left out of the wedding party. "Watch therefore," says Jesus, "for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh."

Are you ready? God is ready for you with arms of love open wide.

Lord Jesus, thank you for your arms of love that are ready for me today and forever. In Jesus name, Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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