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Weddings can be elaborate affairs. Sometime people even travel to a different country for the ceremony. Flowers, clothing, venues, food and drink must be arranged. Some people make a living by providing wedding planning services to assist with all the arrangements.
Weddings were also elaborate in Jesus’ day. Two parades wound through town. The groomsmen brought the bride to the ceremony. The groom picked up the bridesmaids in a procession that paraded from place to place. People waited for the groom to pass and joined in. The parade could last hours before everyone came together for the feast.
This custom underlies the parable of the ten virgins from Matthew 25:1-4, “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.” (NIV 1984)
Do you know the rest of the story? When the procession arrived in the middle of the night, the foolish girls left to get oil because their lamps were running out. The procession passed them by and the bridegroom locked them out of the party. Jesus concluded the parable in verse 13, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (NIV 1984) Remember, stay ready. Jesus is coming.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.