Blessed… But You’re Supposed to Share

“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,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Author:

Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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