The best way to be ready is by preparing for the worst. In a disaster risk readiness strategy, this is always the case. Whatever the disaster is, there is a definite procedure to follow in preparation before the impending disaster, during the disaster, and after the disaster. In schools, every classroom is usually equipped with first aid kit, alarm mechanisms, evacuation procedure, and safety protocols to prepare teachers and students in case there is an earthquake, fire, flood, or man-made disaster such as violence in school. Drills are regularly made to train teachers and students how to act during calamities and disasters. These are undertaken to ensure that the school is ready to keep itself protected from harm as best as it possibly could. Similarly, when on airplane, there is always that flight attendant giving the best speech on what to do during an emergency in flight.
In our spiritual life, we should have that same urgency and expectation of Christ’s return. We should be ready for it especially when we do not know when it will be. The more we should be prepared because we do not know when Jesus Christ will return.
“Watch therefore, for you don’t know the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.”– Matthew 24:13 (WEB)
Bring the lamp and the oil with you. What is the use of the lamp with out the oil? The parable of the ten virgins, 5 foolish and 5 wise, describes what happened when the foolish virgins brought their lamps but did not bring the flasks of oil. They are to meet the bridegroom as is customary in a Jewish wedding. When the bridegroom came at midnight, all 10 woke up from their sleep, but only the 5 wise virgins had enough oil for their lamps to be kept lighted. While the 5 foolish virgins rushed out in search of oil, the wise ones were welcomed by the bridegroom. In the end, the foolish ones were left outside unable to enter in the wedding feast.
It is not enough that we have the lamp. We need the oil for the lamp. Like the wise virgins, they came prepared. They brought both the lamps and the flasks of oil. That is what preparedness is all about. Be prepared for the return of Christ, that we have both the oil and the lamp. As Christians we are to live as God has willed us to live, which is, to be lights in this world that is darkened by sin. By consistently obeying God and walking in step with His Spirit, we continue to shine as lights in this world. Even when Christ appears at “midnight” when we are sleeping, we will not be unprepared. Instead, like the wise virgins we can wake up prepared because when we trim our lamps, it lights up clear and bright.
Readiness for Christ’s return means we do not run out of oil and thus dimming our light. We should live by His Spirit and be filled with His Spirit through daily intentional obedience. Then, we can light up, we can shine brightly, undimmed by the world.
“While they went away to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Most certainly I tell you, I don’t know you.’”– Matthew 25:10-12 (WEB)
Be ready at all times. It is a dreadful thing to be denied by God when the time comes. Have the urgency to stay prepared by taking action before Christ appears for His second return.
I pray for His grace to fill us and strengthen us that we may keep walking in His will. May our love for our Savior never grows cold. May our light never dim.