It is important for us to give thanks and praise on Sunday mornings. But we can’t stop there. Our faith needs to be more than words, more than creeds, more than a ritual we undertake once a week. It needs to be active and life giving. It needs to be sharing and open. It needs to be risk-taking and fearless.
The lamps and oil Jesus speaks about in this parable are not fueled by fear, but by love. By welcome. By knowing the power of grace and the gifts of the Spirit.
According to Jesus, the way to peace, the way to joy, the way to fullness of life is in giving, not keeping.
The good news for today is that all of us have been invited to the best party ever. To the best celebration. Whether you have thought of yourself as in or out, good or bad, religious or non-religious, God wants you there. Christ has made a way. There is a seat waiting for you.
No matter how rich or poor we become, in our world we are always told, “You don’t have enough.” We are always being pointed to the bigger house, the more far away vacation, the better brand car, the more illustrious school, the clothes that will make us fit in. We start living out of this fear of not having enough, and instead of enjoying the present, we fear the future, and we stop giving and sharing and working. We stop living for the kingdom, living for love, living for peace, living how Christ invites us to live.
We as a church should be a place for peace, not more worry and stress. We should be a place where all people have a moment to take a breath (pause) and know that God loves them, just as they are.
Jesus, in our passage for today, invites us to go after the true treasure with all that we have. He knows where true joy, true love, true life is found. It comes in following him. And he is telling us there is no amount of comfort, of possessions, of wealth or privilege or anything else that is worth more than this treasure. And sometimes it takes giving up those things to get to the true treasure.
People of good news don’t discard individuals because of their differences, but rather welcome them with radical hospitality.
How can we read passages like this one and believe women should preach and lead and be ordained?
The only thing that will get us there is God’s grace. The full amazingness of God’s grace is not just that it forgives our sins, not just that it saves us from death, but that somehow God’s grace will one day, in an instant, completely transform our hearts and minds and souls. Our brokenness will be healed. Our sin stripped away. And we will know what it means to be fully children of God.