Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Psalm 146, 147 
Amos 1:1-5, 13-2:8 1 
Thessalonians 5:1-11 
Matthew 25.113 

It’s autumn. We treasure the light we have and the last warm days before winter. It’s a good season for a tale of virgins and lamps, a Bridegroom and a blazing banquet hall.

I imagine us as young ladies, gathered on an evening that still holds heat in the walls. We are the virgins with our candles, lamps, batteries, and torches. Chatting merrily, we make a cluster of light: If God looked down from the night sky he would see us as a little beacon, twinkling “over here, over here!” to the celestial Groom.

There are historical understandings about the virgins and their lamps; these help explain the urgency and excitement of their waiting. But while we should research what is culturally true of Jesus and his time, we are also asked to research what our own souls  have to say about listening in the dark, with our friends, awaiting the Guest.

My soul says: in my family and circles, in what I know of the world, in my ageing and failures amidst my flares of success, I feel darkness, I feel the cold. I yearn for the Lord’s return and I am staggered that this requires the patience of centuries. I know the night is long and my light uncertain: will it fail before the Groom arrives? If it fails, my face won’t glimmer out of the dark. If it fails, I will be invisible as he strides to the hall’s great doors.

But my soul also says: God bids us to shine by our very own lights. I hold my flame warm in my hands, and you hold yours, and these lights gleam out our unique faces to the world and to the Saviour. Tonight we are the flickering cluster that says: we are here! we are ready! We move in close together, to share the warmth of our lives. As we wait, there is much to discuss, in quiet campfire voices: our stories, our loves and losses; and there is time, much time, to rehearse the songs we’ll sing when we sight Him at last. I hold the light you have given me and I sing for you, Oh Christ. 

– Julie Poskitt

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