The Parable of the Bridesmaids

Theme: Be prepared to meet Jesus - Proper 27 (32)
Object: A bell, buzzer, or some other device that can be sounded for a warning. Flashlight and batteries.
Scripture: Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour. Matthew 25:13 (NIV)
In the past year we have seen many natural disasters in our world. Things such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and fires. One thing that we are hearing over and over again these days is that it is very important for us to be prepared in case of an emergency.

I remember when I was in school, we used to have disaster drills. Sometimes it was a fire drill. They would ring the school bell three times. All of the students lined up and marched outside the school building to a safe place. When they were sure that it was safe, they rang the bell two times and the students returned to their classrooms. If there was a tornado drill, they rang the bell four times. The students lined up and marched to a safe room in the center of the building where they would "duck and cover." (You might want to demonstrate.) The teachers always carried flashlights in case the lights went out. When it was safe, they rang the bell two times and the students returned to their classrooms.

It is very important to be prepared when something unexpected happens. In our school, it was important that all of the students and teachers knew the warning signal, knew where they were supposed to go, and when it was safe to return to their classroom. In a tornado drill, the teachers had to make sure that there were batteries in the flashlights and that the flashlights were working properly. Being prepared can mean the difference between safe or sorry...so be prepared.

Jesus once told a story to teach us the importance of being prepared. In Jesus' story, ten bridesmaids took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Jesus said that five of them were foolish because they had their lamps, but they didn't bring any extra oil to put in their lamps. When it was time to go out and meet the bridegroom, they were out of oil. The other five were very wise and well-prepared. They had brought plenty of oil for their lamps. When it was time to go out and meet the bridegroom, they were ready.

In this story, the bridegroom is Jesus and you and I are the bridesmaids. The story is teaching us that one day we are going to go to meet Jesus. It teaches us that we must be prepared, because we don't know exactly when that time is coming. Do you know what we must do to be prepared? We must invite Jesus to come into our hearts. When we do that, we are ready!

Dear Jesus, one day we are going to meet you face to face. We pray that we will all be ready. Amen.

Note: Use good judgment in the use of this message. It is not our aim to frighten children, but to reassure them.

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