Posted by Rev. Jon Dunbar

Readings for the 23rd Sunday after Pentecost

Matthew 25:1-13; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Amos 5:18-24

I’m locked out! Have you ever found yourself locked out…of your home or your car or your office? There’s the pit in your stomach as you hear the fateful click of the latch, the embarrassment of realizing it might have been avoided.

Jesus’ parable in the Gospel reading features five virgins who find themselves locked out of a wedding feast due to their lack of preparation. Jesus is urging us not to grow either complacent or fatalistic about his final coming. Our deliverance is securely in God’s hands. Expect it! (Matt 25)

In the Old Testament reading Amos warns that the Day of the Lord’s coming will bring inescapable judgment for those who neglect justice and righteousness. That righteousness which is gained through faith in Christ is the only key that can unlock the gates of heaven. (Amos 5)

Paul encourages us in the Epistle reading with instructions about what will happen when Christ returns. Those who died in faith will be the first to rise and meet their Savior, along with all the living who have awaited his return. (1Thes 4)