The week of Hope: Advent Devotions

November 30, 2014
Wait! By Rev. Leslie Dalstra
Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13
“Therefore keep alert because you don’t know the day or the hour.” Matthew 25:13
The season of Advent presents for us some ambiguity.  We hear two responses to the message “God is coming!”  One is “rejoice and be glad!” and the other is “beware!”   And the juxtaposition of these two responses places us firmly in a place of waiting. 
Oh how I don’t like to wait.  I can remember as a child my mother would respond to my various requests with the words “we’ll see.”  Which meant you’ll have to WAIT for me to tell you no later. 

What are we waiting for?  In the parable we read, it is a waiting for God to show up.  On the surface we see that it is an active waiting that involves preparation on our behalf.  No one enjoys finding out that they missed the teacher’s reminder that there would be a test today, only to realize that you are not prepared.

There is a lot to unpack with this passage of scripture.  What I want to focus on are the five bridesmaids whose lamps run low on oil.  We’ve all been there; we have allowed the chaos of our day to take our focus off of God’s presence.  We have read passages like this one and doubted the message that it gives to us.  We have struggled with remaining faithful and decided not to wait for God.  What if the bridesmaids had waited?  What if they had sat in the darkness only to find God’s presence there?  What if they had decided that instead of running around they could imagine that the groom would welcome them in, empty lamps and all?

Prayer: God who meets us in our darkness we seek your mercy, love and strength.  In our waiting we face our fears and so we wait for you to bring us your calming presence.  In our waiting we ache with longing and so we wait for you to bring us satisfaction.  In our waiting we bring you are anxiety and so we wait for you to bring us peace.  Amen.


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