Reflections: The Last Sunday of the Church Year

“And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”
(Matthew 25:10-13)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. I remember as a child waiting for my dad to come home from work. The difference in the way I waited depended on how the day had gone. If I’d misbehaved that day and heard those dreaded words from Mom, “Wait until your father gets home,” I’d be waiting with more than a little bit of dread. But if it had been a good day then the waiting was filled with joyful anticipation. 

As baptized people of God we wait for the Lord’s return with joy, not fear. We are confident in His promise of the forgiveness of all our sins, for the Jesus who is coming soon is the same Jesus who died on the Cross for us to pay for our sins. The foolish virgins had no time for faithful waiting. They figured that they would be ready when the bridegroom came, and they took for granted that they had a place at the wedding feast. In their foolish figuring, they lost out. They hear chilling words, “I don’t know you.” For the wise virgins in the parable, the Lord’s return doesn’t bring panic or fear. They welcome the bridegroom with joy. 

The Lord’s return comes with deliverance, with salvation. It reveals all that was won for us on Jesus’ Cross but remained hidden to the world and known only by faith, even our life and salvation and the forgiveness of all our sins. This Gospel news enlivens our faith and we look with joyful anticipation for our Lord’s return. By His grace alone we are counted as wise and well-prepared. 

As we await the return of Jesus on the day that ends all days, we receive His words with humble and wide-awake faith: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” Come, Lord Jesus! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

O Lord, absolve Your people from their offenses that, from the bonds of our sins which by reason of our frailty we have brought upon ourselves, we may be delivered by Your bountiful goodness; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen. (Collect for the Last Sunday of the Church Year)

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch