Posted on Nov 09, 2017 by John Holt
1Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9But 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.’ 10And 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. 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:1-13
This past week our senior high youth group went to a local escape room for our Sunday evening hang-nite. Escape rooms are theme based rooms that you are locked into as a group with a set amount of time to discover clues that lead to a code that unlocks the door so your group can escape. Escape rooms are great group building activities as you need many different skill sets to find and solve the clues. Everyone is on a level playing field and must rely on each other to make it out. As an adult leader, I tend to sit back a bit to give the students a greater opportunity to jump in and lead. It was really fun to see each student tap into their own gifts and use them at different times to help solve a clue or problem. I was especially impressed with the trust from a couple of our more introverted students who solved clues at crucial moments in the game. We were able to solve all of the clues and escape with seven minutes to spare. Pretty amazing!
What moves us to respond or take initiative in times of great struggle or pressure? What clicks in our hearts and minds when a new or difficult opportunity presents itself? Is your heart open to all that the holy spirit might be doing or do you find it difficult to veer off course?
Community is messy and so are relationships, yet God calls us to show up with a full heart to share the unconditional love we have received. There are no strings attached to that love and yet we often find ways to put parameters in place or road blocks up. We find ourselves going through the motions of community hoping that others will provide enough oil to light up the wedding banquet.
I wonder what we could accomplish if everyone chose to show up with a full flask of oil, if in the difficulties of relationship and community we opened our hearts to truly hear and embrace each other as we work together to make progress for the common good.
Peace- John Holt
Director of Youth & Family Ministries and Communication