Monday, December 04, 2006

Foolish Virgins


"One response was given by the innkeeper when Mary and Joseph wanted to find a room where the Child could be born. The innkeeper was not hostile; he was not opposed to them, but his inn was crowded; his hands were full; his mind was preoccupied. This is the answer that millions are giving today. Like a Bethlehem innkeeper, they cannot find room for Christ. All the accommodations in their hearts are already taken up by other crowding interests. Their response is not atheism. It is not defiance. It is preoccupation and the feeling of being able to get on reasonably well without Christianity."
~ Billy Graham


Reflecting further on the first Advent reading, it becomes evident that the foolish virgins were a good illustration of the attitude Dr. Graham describes. Why did their lamps go out? Because they had no reserve of oil.

And why didn't they have extra oil for their lamps? Because they hadn't taken the time to seek out the oil merchant. They had thought they could get along reasonably well with the old supply, the cultural norm, whatever had been passed along to them by their parents. They never made preparation for testing or trials.

They weren't hostile to the Bridegroom; they were waiting outside the Feast chamber just like the Wise Virgins. They had simply never made a personal connection with the One who could keep their flame alive.

Traditionally, Advent is a time for contemplation, but today we have made it a time that is so crammed with busy-ness that we don't even have time for family devotions. No wonder we are able to be so indifferent to the appeal of Christmas, to the invitation to a deeper experience!

This season at least, I am determined to clear my schedule enough to take time for those reflections that will replenish my lamp, so that my soul will still flame up when Christ is near.

Check here tomorrow for Redeeming the Time, the Scriptural springboard for the coming week's Advent celebrations, and then post, link and/or comment on Friday to share ideas for making these spiritual realities the vibrant source of your family's festivities!



6 comments:

MiPa said...

"They had simply never made a personal connection with the One who could keep their flame alive."

Great quote! I'm trying to keep the personal connection alive this Advent season--and the rest of the stuff is falling into place. Amazing how keeping our priorities straight makes all the difference. Thank you!

lrlwreath said...

Kim this is beautiful and I love the analogy and imagery you use. It really brings the quote to life.

"They had thought they could get along reasonably well with the old supply" So true, and I know I am guilty of doing the same at times.

Thank you so much for writing this.

Sissy B. said...

That is exactly what my husband has instructed me to do today, my day off from teaching...replenish my oil!! No errands, no christmas shopping, no addressing Christmas cards! Although I have difficulty reading your posts because of the black background, I do enjoy my visits here and I glean so much from your knowledge and your ability to provide appropriate analogies. Thank you...you have such a gift.

The Imperfect Christian said...

Ah, the true meaning of Advent...how easily it gets lost! Thank you for reminding me that it's not about how many presents I have wrapped or what I have left to buy...it's about preparing ourselves emotionally and spiritually that matters most!

eph2810 said...

Oh, Kim - this is a wonderful post and a wonderful reminder that we always should clear our schedule for a little time with Him - not only during Advent, but 365/year...

Nic said...

A truly excellent tie in with this week's IOW quote! Thank you for sharing with us. :)

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