“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten young bridesmaids who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Now five of them were wise, and the other five were foolish. The foolish ones took their lamps but didn’t bring oil for them. But the wise ones took their lamps and also brought containers of oil. “When the groom was late in coming, they all became drowsy and went to sleep. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Look, the groom! Come out to meet him.’ “Then all those bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. But the foolish bridesmaids said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps have gone out.’ “But the wise bridesmaids replied, ‘No, because if we share with you, there won’t be enough for our lamps and yours. We have a better idea. You go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were gone to buy oil, the groom came. Those who were ready went with him into the wedding. Then the door was shut. “Later the other bridesmaids came and said, ‘Lord, lord, open the door for us.’ “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore, keep alert, because you don’t know the day or the hour” (Matthew 25:1-13, Common English Bible).
I was once leading a children’s lesson. No one else besides me and the child’s parents may remember the lesson but I do and I feel certain they do too. My point in the lesson that day was to always be ready. I talked about how the five foolish bridesmaids didn’t have oil for their lamps and the five wise bridesmaids did. I was about to say how great it was that the wise bridesmaids were prepared for the coming bridegroom and how sad it was that the five foolish bridesmaids were not.
I looked at one of the children. This boy had huge tears coming down his face and he looked up at me and said, “But you’re supposed to share!”
I never got to my real point that day, at least not during the children’s lesson. The more I tried to talk the more he cried. I finally had to pray that the five foolish bridesmaids would find someone with whom they could share oil. Then we moved on with the rest of the service.
As I thought back on that event the thought came to me that there are some things we either cannot or at least should not share with others. If I have a cold or the flu, it isn’t a good idea to share my germs. It is probably not a good idea to share a can of Coke (even though I don’t drink Coke) unless we have at least one glass we can use to share.
I can share the stories of how God has made a difference in my life. I can share my thoughts and understandings about God (my theology). I cannot actually share my faith with someone else. I can’t share my belief.
Of course, the little boy that day couldn’t understand that there are things you just can’t share. His mother had taught him lessons about sharing with others very well. And, truly, that is a good thing and it will have an impact on the way he sees things in the world. At least most of the time, he and the world will be better for it. As much as I may want to do so, I can share with a non-believer how God works in my life. I cannot say, I have more than enough faith, take some of mine as if we were “loaning” someone a cup of sugar.
What we are really doing is planting seeds as we prepare for the bridegroom. The rest we leave in the hands of God.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved