Preparing For The Perfect Moment
Opening Question: Who do you depend upon to give you good advice? Why do you depend on that person?
First Reading: Wisdom 6:12-16
Everyone loved Ms. Jenkins. Her third grade class did all the fun projects and all the historical plays. The kids in her class were involved.
Ms. Jenkins cared about her students and wanted the best for each and every one of them. She always stayed after school. Students knew they could visit and talk about their problems. Older students would drop by to have a talk. Everyone knew she would listen and give good advice.
When they asked Ms. Jenkins why she was so popular, she answered, “I don’t know why. I try to treat ever student as the most special person in the world.” Funny, that’s what the students said about her.
Is the person you depend on to give you good advice special? How are they special?
Bridging Question: How many of you have gone to a wedding? How do you prepare for a wedding?
Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13
Jesus told his followers:
The kingdom of heaven is like this story. Ten girls took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom at night. Five of them were careless, because they didn’t bring extra oil. But the other five thought ahead since they carried more oil in containers. Since the bridegroom took his time, all the girls got tired and fell asleep.
Late that night, there was an announcement. “The bridegroom is here! Go meet him!”
The girls got up and turned up their lamps. The careless girls said to the girls who had extra oil, “Give us some of you oil because our lamps are going out.”
“We don’t have enough to share,” they answered. “Go to the store and buy more oil.”
While they were at the store, the bridegroom arrived. The girls who were ready went with him to the wedding party. And the doors were closed. When other girls arrived later at the party, they said, “Sir, open the door for us.”
“No! ” the bridegroom answered. “I don’t know who you are.”
So, be prepared! You don’t know when the Kingdom will come.
When the invitation came, Jamie got all excited. She had never been to a wedding before this one. Even if she had, this wedding would be special, since her cousin, Nancy, was the bride.
Nancy was Jamie’s babysitter for such a long time. When Nancy cared for her younger cousin, she came prepared with a new activity. Nancy would read Jamie new stories, play different games with her, and feed her exotic foods. Nancy gave all her attention to Jamie and made her feel special. Jamie looked forward to Nancy’s visits. They were fun!
As excited as Jamie got, the next phone really surprised her. “Jamie,” Nancy said, “would you like to be my flower girl?” Jamie screamed with delight. “YES!” Jamie responded.
Jamie had seen flower girls in pictures, but she didn’t realize ow much work it would take. First, she had to be measured and re-measured for her dress. Then, she had to get dressed in a long, ugly gown. (Jamie hated to wear dresses!) Jamie had to have her hair done. (Yuck!) And she had to go to a rehearsal and a rehearsal dinner. People she didn’t know ordered her here and there. Strangers were making cute faces at her and then ignoring her. When she tried to play with children her age, she was told to act like an “adult.” This was work, because it wasn’t fun!
The day of the wedding, everyone ran around acting crazy. Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up! Get ready! When she tried to have someone help her with her dress, everyone was too busy. Suddenly, Jamie’s father yelled at her, “Why aren’t you ready?”
“Because no one will help me with my dress or hair!” Jamie shot back.
Her father messed with the hook on her dress for a few minutes, then gave up in frustration. “Honey!” her father shouted to her mother, “Come here and take care of Jamie!”
“Have someone else to do it” her mother shouted back. “I can’t find my jewelry!”
“Oh, no!” her father exclaimed. “We’ve late! Get in the car, Jamie. We’ll fix you up on the way.”
At the church, the scene was no better. Everyone was confused, frustrated, and on-edge. At the last minute, Jamie’s mother fixed her dress and her hair. Then everyone stopped and looked at each other. Where’s Nancy?
While it was only five minutes, it seemed like five hours. Suddenly, a car pulled up and Nancy flew out the car door into the church’s bride room. A few minutes later, Nancy walked out ready for her wedding.
The music started and Jamie got in line first. All the stress seemed to go away. Nancy was late, but it didn’t matter now. “The wedding is just perfect!” Jamie thought to herself. “Just perfect.”
What would have happened if Jamie wasn’t prepared for the wedding? Would people have hurt feelings? Would they let her be the flower girl?
God’s kingdom is like getting ready for a wedding. It takes a lot of hard work, just like Jamie’s preparation. Sometimes it’s frustrating, because we don’t know when it will come. But, what would happen if we weren’t ready. Would God let us in?
Closing Question: What would happen if Jesus came to visit today? What would you do to prepare?