Old High St Stephen’s, Inverness
15 March 2015, The Fourth Sunday in Lent (Year A, Narrative Lectionary
Gospel Reading: Matthew 25:1-13
Sermon: Oil crisis!
In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
‘The Kingdom of Heaven will be like this’ says Jesus. It’s a familiar enough start to one of Jesus’ parables. But what do you think of when you hear those words? For many of us, the Kingdom is what we often use to describe the ongoing activity of God in the world. Jesus, we believe, has initiated this new movement- his Kingdom. As more and more people become involved, as more and more the goodness of God is seen in the world- that’s the Kingdom, isn’t it- so we say! And heaven? Well, that’s for afterwards. The place we go when we die- a rest after all our work for the sake of the Kingdom.
‘The Kingdom of Heaven will be like this’. And then Jesus tells us a story- a story which makes us think (as always). A story about ancient Jewish wedding customs, involving foolish and sensible young women, a bridegroom who arrives late, oil lamps that are running low, and a wedding part that only some people are admitted to. What has any of this to do with doing the work of God’s Kingdom in our world? What has any of it to do with our hope for eternal rest with God in heaven, the next world? In fact, what has any of this to do with anything?