When I was a kid in Sunday School, we used to sing a song that went, “Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, give me oil ’til the break of day.” It repeated rather tediously through various items we wished God to give us, and it seems that somewhere in there we should have asked for wisdom, but we asked for practically everything but.
We have the option of reading about wisdom this Sunday – from the Book of Wisdom, one of the few times we read from the apocrypha – and we are going to seize the opportunity to hear what the Bible has to say about it. Hint: It characterizes her, not surprisingly, as beautiful.
We also hear about the unwise bridesmaids, who have forgotten oil for their lamps, and about the wise bridesmaids, who remember theirs – and refuse to share. So it’s a parable that seems, on the surface, to say we should remain prepared at all times, even if it means not sharing and being hard-hearted. Surely this isn’t what Jesus meant for us to take away from this lesson.
Let’s mull this over together Sunday morning to find what it is this parable is truly trying to convey.