From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 24th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

I had two projects I wanted to tackle this weekend: fix my uncle’s car and install a smartlock at same uncle’s house. Just to quickly explain, this particular uncle isn’t in town and usually isn’t. But he has stuff here (like a car and a house) that need to be cared for, and it’s fallen on me to take care of some of it (he has other family here that takes care of the bulk of it though). I usually just do the stuff that I enjoy doing, like working on cars and installing electronic devices.

Anyway, the car thing was daunting but turned out to be pretty easy. I did a LOT of research as to what the problem was, sourced the part that needed to be replaced, and made sure I had the right tools for the job. I set aside like 2 hours to get it done, but because I was pretty prepared, it only took about 30-40 minutes (including all the walking from the garage to the house and back because I kept forgetting things that I needed). So I was pretty proud about myself.

But then came the smartlock. I figured I’ve done this before, so it shouldn’t be that bad. It’s just similar to putting in a regular dumb lock. But when I got there and looked through the instructions, I found that I needed more than I had, there were a few extra steps that I didn’t anticipate, and the installer of the door and original lock was pretty sloppy so extra time had to go into fixing their oversights. All in all, I gave myself 15 minutes to do that job but it ended up taking almost 40 minutes. I wasn’t prepared.

I think the moral of the story here is pretty clear: read the instructions, familiarize yourself with the job at hand, and don’t get too cocky.

Here are the readings for next week:
Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16 (alternate)
Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20 (alternate)
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Matthew 25:1-13

So I’ve decided to use the alternate first reading and psalm for this coming Sunday, mostly because it talks about wisdom. And how the love and pursuit of wisdom changes us at a our core as we gain that more of that wisdom and become more wise with wisdom (and vocabulary apparently). And I feel like that theme ties in nicely with the gospel lesson, which at first glance, will take a lot of wisdom to figure out.

Because that parable is a bit of a doozy. It sounds really mean of the bridegroom to not let in the bridemaids because he was the one who was late. And it was mean of the other bridesmaids to help out their fellow bridesmaids. Whatever happened to sisters before misters?

But I feel like this isn’t so much a prescription of how life should be (like being mean), but more of a description of how life already is (if you aren’t prepared, then you’ll get your just desserts). This isn’t to say that we must be prepared for Jesus in order for Jesus to love us, but it is saying that if we aren’t prepared, it’ll be obvious and clear in how we live our lives, how we relate to others, and how readily we can see and recognise God’s love in our lives and community.

So I think the lesson that Jesus is teaching us here is that we should read God’s word, familiarize ourselves with God’s grace and mercy, and don’t get too cocky. Then our contribution to the kingdom can be more meaningful, our position in God’s family would be more apparent to us, and our acceptance of God’s love and salvation would be easier as we earnestly and humbly seek God throughout all of life.

To me, God is love, and God’s kingdom is full of surprises. Our desire to learn more comes from the grace given to us, as we reach out to seek the wisdom of God’s peace and righteousness.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

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