Friday, February 8, 2013

Give Freely, Maintain Awareness ***

S. Matthew 25: 1 – 30

O. The parable of the bridesmaids, and the story of a man and his servants before a long trip.

A. Jesus tells a story of ten bridesmaids, half of which bring extra oil for their lamps, the other half not bringing extra oil. As is common with weddings, it rarely goes according to plan. In the delay, those who had not brought extra oil for their lamps were ill-prepared. The five bridesmaids go to buy oil only to be locked out of the marriage feast. Despite knocking on the door, they are not allowed into the feast.

Our awareness is our preparedness. In our rush to be perfect, we may miss opportunity. Here, Jesus was talking about us being ready for his return, but the lesson is more profound. Our presence is enough. We don’t need to be perfect; we don’t need to bring extra oil. We need only bring ourselves and our awareness. What is key in our awareness is the relationship we have with God through a deep understanding of our role in the universe. The role we play isn’t connected to lamps or oil for lamps; it’s of our presence through our awareness.

Jesus tells another story about a man who goes on a long trip. Before heading off, he gives his servants bags of money, the number of bags to each group being different. To those he gave multiple bags of money, they go out, invest the money and double it by the time of the man’s return. The servant that was given only one bag, however, buries the bag until the man’s return. The man returns giving praise to those who had invested the money, chastising the servant who had buried the money.
“Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one with the ten bags of silver. To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.”
The lesson here is to not squander this blessed gift that is our life. If we try to hold onto what we have, we will be left with nothing. When we die, we leave empty-handed. However, while we are alive, we can do amazing and good things for others. When we hold onto what we cannot take with us after this life, we squander not just what we have but our lives as well. We should be unafraid to give of ourselves and of what we are blessed to have. Through giving, we give ultimately give back to ourselves. Think not of yourself but of what you can do.

P. May I maintain awareness and presence. May I always give freely of that presence.

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