Parody of church sleep
Jesus begins his parable with a side-swipe, a parody of church sleep, by describing the following scenario: A bridal party is eagerly waiting for the groom to appear. He is said to come from the father's house, where he has prepared a dwelling place to bring home the bride and the virgins who accompany her. However, the groom is late and the bridal party has to practice waiting. However, waiting should be viewed positively in this context. It reminds me of an old song by Keith Green in which he compares the creation of the world in seven days with the preparation of our heavenly abode, which has now lasted over 2000 years, and comes to the conclusion that our beautiful cosmos (cf. Cosmetics - beauty) can only be like a trash can compared to the beauty of the home that the Lord is preparing for us now.
The bridegroom's delay does not bring distress. The wedding party is happy, and the waiting girls in particular (in ancient times, many bridesmaids kept the bride company) play happily with each other. They are eleven to thirteen years old; in biblical times, girls were always married before the age of thirteen. Youth camps with eleven to thirteen year olds represent a certain parallel to our celebration. So sleep is out of the question! However, when Jesus remarks that some people have fallen asleep, everyone knows that he is joking! The listeners smile because it is known to everyone: In this situation, sleep is not even remotely possible. Even if someone had tried, they would never have been able to turn a blind eye to this situation. Jesus, are you joking?
But Jesus is not in the mood to joke, because he is thinking about the end-time church. Jesus wanted to suggest that absurd things would happen in the end-time church. Absurd things, like sleeping in church. Some girls actually fell asleep! And no matter how impossible this thought may seem, the impossible will become possible in the end-time church: the virgins are sleeping! They are not ready when the groom comes! Jesus' goal is shock therapy. He wants to take us into the story so that we can experience healing. However, our reactions are usually apologetic. All antennas are extended. All of us can immediately think of three reasons why we can't be included! - Or maybe yes?
Everyone knows: there's something in the air. The banners are flying in Israel: We are waiting for the coming of the Messiah! Muslims call for daily morning prayer with the call to prayer: Prayer is more important than sleep! Everyone is ready - except the Christians! And that's exactly what Jesus is talking about: the impossible will come true. The king is coming - the Christian community is sleeping. This statement of Jesus in the minor apocalypse is also supported by a diachronic interpretation of the missives in the major apocalypse, Revelation. The atmosphere of the last epoch of world history, the epoch in which we live, is described using the example of the church of Laodicea.
What should I do? “Watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation!” It is essential for the church of the end times that we re-establish personal prayer times and congregational prayer times so that we can be found awake at the return of Jesus. Who is participating? Who would like to come before God with their church every day and pray for a revival in our country and for the readiness of the church of Jesus Christ when he comes? The church of Jesus urgently needs a prayer booster in our day! For a biblical community, praying three times a day was the most normal thing in the world until the fourth century!
Author: Dr. Paul Schmidgall Pictures: https://pixabay.com/de/