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Be Prepared

For the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost or Proper 27

From “Saving the Ants”

Matthew 25:1 – 13; “Jesus said, ‘Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise.'”  

Preparation: Bring two flashlights with spent or very dim batteries and extra batteries for only one of the flashlights.

In the Gospel lesson for today, Jesus told a story about ten maidens. Five were foolish and five were wise. The maidens were waiting for a bridegroom to arrive so that they could go to a marriage feast. But since most of you probably aren’t real familiar with marriage feasts, bridegrooms, or oil lamps, I will tell you a little different version of the story, and I’ll need your help.

I need two volunteers to hold my flashlights. (Hand out flashlights, one with extra batteries and one without extra batteries. Try to give the batteries to a child old enough to replace them without too much help.)

One evening in the land of the Mighty King, there was a wonderful party planned. It would be held in the king’s own castle. There would be feasting and music and dancing. At the end of the party, all the guests were welcome to stay at the castle as long as they liked. All came to the castle walls to wait for the king himself to arrive. He had promised to walk them through the secret passages and doors that led to the very center of the castle, where the feast would take place. Only the king knew the way.

Jan Adam Kruseman (Haarlem 1804-1862)

Jan Adam Kruseman (Haarlem 1804-1862)

The king told all of the guests that they might have to wait some time, but they had to be ready for him when he came. “Watch and wait,” he said, “because you do not know that exact hour that I will come.” Two young subjects of the king were waiting for him to arrive. They both had their trusty flashlights along and as it got darker, they both turned their lights on and waited for the king. They waited for a long time. The lights got dim and the two almost fell asleep. Suddenly, a shout rang out. “The king has arrived! Get up, turn on your lights and follow the king.”(Have volunteers turn on their dim flashlights.)

One of the subjects was foolish and had no extra batteries and couldn’t follow in the dark. The other subject was wise and had brought along extra batteries. He quickly changed the batteries, got up, and followed the king into the feast. (Help child change batteries.)

The story is about what will happen at the end of the world when Jesus comes again. Nobody knows exactly when Jesus will return, but we know that Jesus will come to earth again. We need to always be ready, to be doing what God wants us to do. And with Jesus in your heart and God’s love in your life, you will be ready for Jesus when he comes again.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your promise to return. Help us to be ready.

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