Today's Old Testament reading continues God's painstakingly detailed description of the Ark of the Covenant and its housing. I have included a schematic diagram. The walls are all made of blue, purple, and scarlet embroidered curtains. The pieces all made of silver, gold, or bronze. When wood is used, it is acacia wood. Unless you want to build one yourself, you probably do not need to bother with today's reading.
Hurrah! Jesus finishes talking about the end of the world directly and goes back to talking about it in parables. We get two today.
- Ten virgins go to meet the bridegroom. Five of them bring enough oil, five do not. The ones who do not go and buy some more. The bridegroom arrives before they return, and he locks them out of the marriage feast. Lesson learned: Jesus is not going to forgive those who do not follow him when the end times come. Point against the belief that everyone will be saved eventually.
- The other parable involves three servants. Jesus gives them 5, 2, and 1 bags of gold respectively. The one who gets 5 invests it and earns 5 more. The one with 2 invests it and gets 2 more. The one who gets one fears his master and buries the money. When the master returns, he praises the first two servants and scorns the third one. Lesson: "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." One wonders what the master would have done to a servant who had used what they were given badly (i.e., lost money).
The combined lesson of these parables, in my opinion, is that it is not enough to claim to be a follower of Christ. You have to act on your belief and use your gifts in service to Jesus. If you do not, it does not matter how much you want it or how sincere you are, Christ will not let you into heaven.
Of course, that would be a lot more reasonable if the truth of Christianity were actually as obvious as Jesus claims.
Psalms and Proverbs
Nothing of particular note except that we may be moving beyond immoral women in Proverbs. We cannot be sure though, because today's reading is another prelude that can be summarized as "Wisdom is great. Get some!"