Thursday, May 24, 2012
There is definitely a trend these days in throwing a wedding “out-of-town” and having the guests all come a distance from home to celebrate with the bride and groom. Some of these can be very extreme in extravagance, while others may be quite simple, but never-the-less require the guests and participants to travel out-of-town, even if they live quite close to the Bride and Groom. What fun to have everyone take a small vacation just for their special occasion.
Though I have traveled distances to attend weddings, one (of two) destination weddings I have attended was at the beach here in Oregon. Wonderful place to go and not so far from Salem as to limit guests to those who could stay the night. (And it was a beautiful day.) But since we were traveling anyway, we left after the wedding and spent the night in Seaside, where we just happened to run into the Bride and Groom. :)
This weekend many from my family will be attending a destination wedding near Yakima WA. They will be traveling from as far away as Arkansas and Vancouver B.C. as well as from here in Salem OR. Everyone is excited to be there and enjoy this time together.
Coincidentally, in study tonight we will be discussing the Destination Wedding that was attended by the 10 virgins, 5 wise and 5 not. That started me thinking about the responsibilities connected to going to a destination wedding. As was often the way of things in the days of the Bible and for many, many years of history, everyone had to travel to the wedding, sometimes from great distances and they had to be prepared for possible variations in the schedule. Unfortunately, 5 of the virgins failed to prepare for the possibility that the groom, who had to travel in, might be delayed in coming. They did not bring extra oil for their lamps and ended up missing the wedding altogether because they had to go and by more at the last minute.
At least one underlying truth to be learned from this episode is that we “People get ready, Jesus is coming, soon!”* And we don’t know exactly when. We have to be prepared to wait, and we have to be prepared to meet Him right now. There will be no second chance once the door is closed.
As I thought about this upcoming wedding it occurred to me that preparations were needed. If guests intended to stay a night or two, rooms had to be reserved, bags packed and a trip planned. But the “oil” of the weekend just might be making sure there is enough money available to buy gas when coming home. :)
As for our inclusion in the wedding He has prepared for us, we must know that we are invited; that we are part of His Bride, the church, because we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior AND we must be moving closer and closer to Him by His own leading and our willful, obedient following.
By seeming to change the subject in the next section of this 25th chapter of Matthew, Jesus is actually telling us that we are required to keep on keeping on, and helping Him to grow the church until He returns We must not become unwise and settle into bored tedium because He has not come yet. We must not give up waiting for Him and doing all that we can to draw closer and closer to Him.
May we daily be reminded that our responsibility is to be ready to meet Him and ready to wait. As John says in Revelation as he closes: Even so, come Lord Jesus. And may we celebrate together very soon!
*People get ready Jesus is coming, soon we’ll be going home, People get ready Jesus is coming, to take from the world His own.” AVALON http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_JJ84ugpmo