Recently Don Merritt, The Life Project, took us through the “Olivet Discourse” – a guided tour (of the highest calibre) through the evergreen question: “How will we know when the second coming is coming?”
And Jesus’ response: No one knows – not even me.
Yet Jesus didn’t just say ”You naughty little scamps, how dare you!” – He offered three “the kingdom will be like this” pictures. A loving thing to do. Relationship in action.
One of those pictures resonates with me. Don gave a whole piece to it: (The Life Project: Ten Virgins – http://lifereference.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/ten-virgins/)
And this morning when I came to Him for our morning walk, the same verses and picture popped up:
Jesus said to his disciples, “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise replied, ‘No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Matthew 25:1-13
As an affectionate visitor to Turkey, having been part of a couple of family-friend weddings out there, been part of tradition in action – that is why this “picture” in particular resonates. Just up the road from Jesus – only a couple of thousand years and a few miles between me and Him – it is the bible in action at times. So this picture resonates.
And once again I see “Jesus shorthand” – ten bridesmaids (or virgins or women who had not slept with men … take you pick because the label we understand today was not theirs) waiting for the bridegroom. The bride doesn’t get a mention really. She didn’t need to be mentioned. For very good reason.
And for very good reason – understanding the entire process of a Jewish-biblical-times wedding (whether for rich or poor, wealthy or not – the “essence” would be the same) is crucial – and enriches this small picture into a 360 technicolour epic blockbuster surround-sound life enhancer. He took me to that place today with the link (below).
I could enthuse and expound for a thousand or two words more. But will not.
I was lead, and read, reflected, and floated – and stayed. Be still (and know Me a little better). I allowed His outflow of love to immerse me. And that I cannot document (without boring the pants off you).
So my request is this.
When you have the time – the peace – the quiet and the calm to be still with Him … take this little cartoon – and then allow the tradition, the covenant, the commitment, the love, the delicate and precise placement of so many details … all of that context, all of the history, all of the full meaning …
Let the two combine. This little shorthand cartoon and the “real” in which Jesus placed His picture. This morning in my little room, at my little desk, with my little computer and this little cartoon He asked me:
“Will you put down your labels, your techno thinking, will you fall back and fall in, will you let Me lead you?
Will you let Me paint, sing, whisper and Love you?
Oh yes indeedy lord, come to me and love me now.
And then He took me to the real. And unfolded Himself in the most wondrous way. I pray He does that with you in whatever way you allow. That He knocks on your heart and you pull Him in.
“Jewish Wedding Customs and the Bride of Messiah”, Glenn Kay – http://messianicfellowship.50webs.com/wedding.html
Here is my pebble.