The Groom, the Bride, and the Bridesmaids

Several years ago, I wrote a post about this parable found in Matthew 25:1-13. Jesus used so many parables to teach the principles and each one is rich with cultural background as well as spiritual truths.

Matthew 25:1 Then the kingdom of Heaven shall be compared to ten virgins who taking their lamps, went out to a meeting of the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five foolish.
3 Those being foolish, taking their lamps, did not take oil with them.
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 But the bridegroom delaying, all nodded and slept.
6 And at midnight, a cry occurred: Behold, the bridegroom comes! Go out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins were aroused and prepared their lamps.
8 And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, No, lest there not be enough for us and you. But rather, go to those who sell and buy for yourselves.
10 But they going away to buy, the bridegroom came. And those ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut.
11 And afterwards, the rest of the virgins also came, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But answering, he said, Truly I say to you, I do not know you.
13 Therefore, watch, for you do not know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man comes.

There are as many interpretations of this parable as there are Bible scholars. I have always been intrigued by the Jewish Wedding Ceremony coming first when I saw Fiddler on the Roof, and wondered why the groom stomped the glass (recalling the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem). But why the groom? Something we will have to explore soon.
I have prayed for understanding about Jesus’ parables over the years and there are some things that I have noticed about this one. The first thing to take note of is this is not about the Bride. Jesus is describing what it will be like when He is bringing His bride, not coming to His Bride. He says the lesson is to watch and be ready for no one knows the hour or the day in which He will come!
Who is the Bride of Christ? It is the church, of course. So, this story isn’t really about the Bride. However, if  the Bride lived too far away for her friends to come, then it was necessary for the Groom to provide “ladies in waiting” for the Bride or if she had no friends to go with her. These girls were waiting for the Groom to bring His Bride to his home for the Seven Days within the chador (chamber) or chuppah (honeymoon chamber). The Bride of this parable lived too far away for them to be with her during the wedding ceremony. They were provided by the Bridegroom to bring comfort to the Bride to light the way for the Groom and His Bride in case they arrived during the night, therefore the lamps. What happens during the Seven Days, one need only read the Song of Solomon. These seven days correspond to the days between the Feast of Trumpets and the Day of Atonement. The Feast of Trumpets Rosh Hashanah which occurs on the first and second day of Tishri and is the Jewish New Year which I talk about in my post Day of the Shofar Blast.
I have been lost in homesickness. You know, that aching and longing to be with the One you know the best in all the world.
I go to church and love studying our lessons about how God is God. He doesn't need us but we need Him desperately. I sing with all my heart that He is my All in All. I study about the travails of Jesus as a baby when Joseph had to take his little family to Egypt to get away from Herod while my dear pastor preaches from Matthew and Luke.
I laugh and chat with my friends at church before we go out to eat, often time seeing people we know and love, laughing and chatting with them.  On the way home one Sunday, this wave of missing my dad washed over me. I miss him so much. Then I thought jealously about where he is and Who he is laughing and chatting with. A yearning so deep and so poignant rushed through me. I cried out, "Come, Lord Jesus, come and get me and take me to my real home, Father!"
Studying the Bible, studying for these columns, and praying seems like it would be enough, but it is not. I am not satisfied. I want more. Nothing here satisfies. There are instant gratifications that satisfy some people for seconds smoking, alcohol, sex. They consume time with thoughts and with actions but they do not last even a tenth of the time that satisfaction lasts from true worship of my God. Sin has a way of enticing but not fulfilling.
Nothing here satisfies....
I have family, and it is sweet. I have a ministry and it is sweet. I teach Sunday School. I sing in the choir, yet, that is not enough. It is enough that Jesus died for me and that He has saved me. Yet, I know in my Spirit there is more, so much more and I yearn for my Beloved Bridegroom.
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