Matthew 25:1-13 (NRSV)
Chapter 25"Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Verse 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. Verse 3When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; Verse 4but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. Verse 5As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept. Verse 6But at midnight there was a shout, 'Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.' Verse 7Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. Verse 8The foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' Verse 9But the wise replied, 'No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.' Verse 10And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. Verse 11Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, 'Lord, lord, open to us.' Verse 12But he replied, 'Truly I tell you, I do not know you.' Verse 13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
“I always approached each scrimmage as if it was the championship game.” These are the words of basketball legend Michael Jordan. He understood that in order to adequately prepare himself to play in the big game he had to practice over and over again with the same habits. This begs the question, if people saw our habits, for what game would they think that we were practicing? Would they see habits of peace and justice that prepare us for the championship reign of God’s shalom? Or would they see habits of hatred and division that are rendered useless in God’s kin-dome game that is to come? While we do not know the day or the hour, we must continue to develop inclusive habits that will prepare us to enjoy the diversity that is present in God’s upcoming game. We don’t want to miss the joy of playing in the game that has already been won.
God, prepare us for your new earth that is to come. Refine our habits into habits of justice that reflect your kin-dome. Refine our habits into habits of peace. Remind us of your promise to never leave us nor forsake us. As our lamps grow dim, keep us awake with the light of your shining presence. Amen.