“Every field wears a bonnet
With some spring daisies on it,
Even birds of a feather show their clothes off together.
Sun’s gettin’ shinery, to spotlight the finery,
Spring, Spring, Spring.“
FROM “SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS”
I love musical theatre. I also love spring. My thoughts are more expectant at this time of year, because it fits in with the promise of this Lenten season.
We wait for that first robin to appear. We anticipate a narcissus bud or tulip. We can’t wait for the grass to turn green. It’s the season of letting go of the past and looking forward to the new.
In the story of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” the young men, all of marrying age, kidnap young girls and take them back to their farm. With the blast of a gun, an avalanche occurs and they’re trapped there for the winter. This is a story that occurred long ago so there was no hanky panky. (Not to say that hanky panky didn’t occur in the old days.) The girls lived separate from the boys. With the spring melt, the pass clears and the townspeople come to rescue the girls. Even though the couples remained chaste, the seeds of love were planted.
Eventually the families arrive with their guns drawn to retrieve their daughters. By then the girls have plans of their own, and they convince their parents that each of them has a child – which isn’t true. The shotguns become the backdrop of a mass wedding as fathers point, couples join and everything ends up happily ever after. A great story with a happy ending is always good.
Jesus used stories throughout His ministry as examples for living, preparation for dying and how to relate to others. His use of these earthy stories with a heavenly meaning included one about the Kingdom of Heaven. In the story of the ten virgins, He demonstrated how we should be prepared for the bridegroom’s return. He was talking about Himself as the bridegroom. Some of the virgins were prepared for a long wait, while others were not. They didn’t have enough oil for their lamps and had to return home for more. In the meantime, the bridegroom came and they weren’t there. In the end they were refused entrance to the marriage feast.
The story tells us that we must be ready for Jesus’ return. We don’t know how or when that time will come. How can we be sure we won’t miss the boat when He comes again? Storing up enough oil certainly isn’t the point of the story. The point is knowing the bridegroom. Being prepared for Jesus’ return is about getting to know Him. The way to do that is by using the tools left to us from Him. His Word is the truth. It contains everything we need to know about Him.
No one knows the day. No one knows the hour. Only God has pre-determined that. It’s up to us to be ready when He shows up. That requires putting on our armor – the belt of truth – the breastplate of righteousness – the gospel of peace – the shield of faith.
Are you ready?
HAPPY FIRST FULL DAY OF SPRING!
Read Matthew 25:1-13