Several weeks ago, the sermon for Sunday was looking over Matthew 25 and the parable of the ten virgins. I honestly don’t remember what the sermon was about. Instead, I just remember being struck by something in the text that seemed out of place in a way, or at least something that nobody ever seems to point out.
Verse 5 notes, “As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept.” Really? All of them? Shouldn’t the foolish ones have slept while the wise ones stayed awake? I feel like that should have been what Jesus said, but that’s not what’s right there in black and… well, red and white. They all slept.
I suppose it was a reminder that in the midst of all the heavenly things that we are called to attend to, we have to attend to our own earthly needs at the same time. We are created, earthly beings with limitations and needs, and having to deal with those things is what Jesus expects from us. The bridegroom is not going to be angry with us for being human. He expects it. He even takes it for granted.
Jesus is taking a long time coming back. He might appear at any second, or he might still wait a while. But so long as he’s not here yet, we tend to knock ourselves out trying to do all the spiritual things we’re supposed to do while forgetting the earthly stuff along the way. Jesus wants us to look out for him, but he wants us to take care of our human, earthly, bodily selves, too. We don’t get chided for it. He just accepts it. It’s actually the way it’s supposed to be.
Writing this blog post feels to me like one of the ways God is calling me to keep watch for his return, to pay attention to heavenly things. But while I’m doing it, I’m also exhausted from a long day and a lousy night’s sleep. So I guess I should take a note from the wise virgins and pay attention to the fact that the bridegroom is okay with me nodding off. I have to take care of myself until he gets back. Just so long as I've got the oil ready