Wednesday in the Word
Yesterday was September 11th, and I'm sure for many of us, we remember it as the day flying was forever changed. As a flight attendant, there was something so chilling about visiting the memorial site in New York, and recognizing how if I became a flight attendant just two decades ago, I might have been on one of those flights.
I wonder if I were a flight attendant on those flights, what I would spend my last moments doing. Would I freak out and fend only for myself? Will I try to calm others down? Who would I call? Would I drop down to my knees and pray? Would I try to reach out to others and share about the love of Jesus? In these defining moments, what most matters to me? It's not a question I think I can answer, and to be honest, I don't want to be in a situation where I find out.
As I was reading through Matthew 25 about the Parable of the Ten Virgins, one verse stood out to me:
"Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour." - Matthew 25:13
In the context of this parable, we are warned against being unprepared. We need to pursue a personal relationship with God, because we don't know when it is our time to be judged. But what does it mean to be prepared?
In this parable, the wise maidens refused to share, and therefore those who did not have oil for their lamps were late, and were shut out. Is the love of Christ the same way? Are we to refuse to share and let others be shut out of His Kingdom? Is that the meaning of being prepared? Aren't we supposedly given an abundance? Where is the overflow? How does this align with a merciful, loving God who has given life to all of us, only requiring that we believe?
Thankfully, this parable is followed by the Parable of the Talents (a year's wages, according to Google), where the main moral is that what you're given means nothing if you have nothing to show for it. Just as God commanded Adam and Eve to "Be fruitful and multiply", we are also commanded -- though not necessarily regarding populating the earth, we are still called to bear fruit and multiply the followers of Christ. God gave us life, so when we return, are we just returning our own souls, or also the souls of others? In the Parable of the Talents, three servants were given talents. While two of them returned back to their master twice the amount they were given, the last servant buried his talent, and only returned what he was given. This servant was called wicked, because he did nothing to give back more. As we serve God as our Lord and Saviour, shouldn't we want to give back more than we have been given? He has given us our full inheritance into the Kingdom of God, so shouldn't we help our Master to multiply? How can we stand to be still when there is no time left, but so many more lives to reach?
What does being "ready" mean? Do we just watch as death looms over us and overtakes us, and just do nothing as we accept our entry into Heaven's gates? Or do we take action, recognizing that we have been given a full inheritance, and try to help others to find their way in as well? At what point do we stop praying for God's interference with death, and instead pray for hearts to accept the life He has given us?