January 16, 2021
Lebanon/Old Union UMC
”At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. 6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ 9 “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ 10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. 11 “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ 13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”
I just had a birthday two days ago. I turned 62 and have been thinking, am I prepared? I have been getting mail for months about Medicare or retirement benefits. Sometimes I feel like the foolish virgins in a panic and unprepared. As we are going into a new year, I want to set a goal to be better prepared. I don’t want to find myself like those virgins who found themselves outside the door pounding and yelling, “Let me in!” Most of all, I don’t want to hear Jesus say, “I don’t know you!” I have set a goal for myself to be better prepared in 2021. How do I do that? I have set a goal to journal daily as I read scripture, to keep a prayer journal and note when those prayers are answered. I want to strive to be my best self. In setting these goals and meeting them, I hope to be able to share with others. I want to point others in the right direction so they can be better prepared and know Jesus as their savior. I have also chosen a word for the year. That word is “praise.” We have just left a year of negative. So, I want to give more praise. I want us all to be positive. As we enter 2021, may we all strive to be more positive and better prepared for Jesus to come back.