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.
The miracles of God may look different today than they did in Joshua’s day. But miracles are still happening in our church and in our world. God is still making a way.
According to Jesus, the way to peace, the way to joy, the way to fullness of life is in giving, not keeping.
God has promised to be there and be at work in everything that is to come. God’s mercy and justice and love will go with us. But it won’t always be easy to see and notice. Even Moses only gets a quick look as God is already moving past.
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.
For many of us, we think of Jesus’ grace as something that wipes our ledger clean, something that gets us a pass into heaven. That’s true, but Jesus’ grace is so much more than that. It is a grace that claims our whole lives. It is a grace that makes us into new and more holy people. It is a grace that makes us work for justice and freedom, care about oppression and lift up those who have been hurt.
We are called to be ordinary, everyday heroes, who refuse to conform when faced with evil. You may wonder, “Who am I to do such a thing?” I’m no Moses or David, no prophet or king.