The Lord’s Table: Bible Study/Prayer meeting
(Every Wednesday 6-7 pm in the Chapel)
St Paul’s Church
The Anglican Church of Canada
9 November 2011
Theme: Wisdom and Love Topic: Preparedness
Reading: Matthew 25:1-13
25‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids* took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.* 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. 6But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” 7Then all those bridesmaids* got up and trimmed their lamps. 8The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” 9But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 11Later the other bridesmaids* came also, saying, “Lord, lord, open to us.” 12But he replied, “Truly I tell you, I do not know you.” 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
Preparedness implies readiness for both the expected and unexpected. As Christians, we face circumstances everyday that remind us of the need to be vigilant and alert. But one will ask, what exactly are we to be prepared for? We await the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although there are several views as to the nature of Christ’s second coming, a crucial point is this: He is coming back and there are expectations of all who await His second coming. Discouraging circumstances abound around us but as it is written in I Peter 5:8, we should be sober and vigilant. In the parable from today’s text, the ten bridesmaids awaited the coming of the bridegroom. One of the main lessons from the story is that preparedness calls for wisdom. For us today, the extra oil the five wise bridesmaids could mean praying without ceasing and regular attendance to worship/Church services and events. As we discuss this topic, I pray that the Holy Spirit will illumine our hearts as to what to do as we await Christ’s second coming.
1. What is your view on the second coming of Christ?
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18;
Matthew 16:27, 24:27, 30;
Revelation 1:7, 3:11, 22:12, 20
2. Based on your view, what is the timeline for the return of Christ?
1 Thessalonians 5:1-4
2 Thessalonians 2:1-3;
2 Peter 3:8-10
3. What is expected of us as we await Christ’s return?
1 Corinthians 4:5, 11:26;
1 John 2:28, 3:2,
4. How do we apply wisdom in waiting for the second coming of Christ?
1 Corinthians 1:7;
1 Timothy 4:1-2;
1 Peter 1:13
Despite differing opinions on the second coming of Christ, we are called to live as His ambassador- loving God with our whole heart and loving our neighbours as ourselves. As we look forward to His coming in glory, let us live wisely. Let us live for Christ and be the light and salt of the world as God has called us to be.
Thank you Lord for the promise of your second coming. May your Holy Spirit continue to comfort, encourage and make us wise as we await your return through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.