This is just the first in my planned weekly entry on one thing I have learnt in the Come Follow Me programme (although I didn’t post this last week due to things I needed to do with my calling).
In the first week we had a look at the Parable of the Ten Virgins.
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. (Matthew 25:1-2)
As a side note – I wondered if there was significance in the numbers, five wise and five foolish? We know that the kingdom of heaven on Earth is referring to the Lord’s Church. Does this indicate the proportion of the Lord’s kingdom who will be prepared for the Second Coming of the Lord? Maybe, maybe not – but it did cause me to consider about my standing if I would be ready.
Anyway – the main thing that caught my eye was found in this verses:
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. (Matthew 25:6-7)
I’ve skimmed over these verses in the past and just presumed it referred to ensuring we are ready for the Saviour. However, the phrase ‘trimmed their lamps’ did make me wonder what this actually meant and what could we learn from the analogy.
So, a Google Search was in order. From the search I gathered this information:
This care involved trimming the wick, which drew the oil up from the storage reservoir, so that the flame would be clean and bright. Lamp trimmers also refilled the reservoirs, which held enough oil for several hours of burning, but not enough to start a major fire if the lamp were to be knocked down or damaged somehow.
A poorly trimmed wick creates a flame which is dim and smoky. A properly trimmed wick should come to a rounded point, or should be wedge shaped. When lit, the wick should burn cleanly all the way up to the highest flame it can make. (Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamp_trimmer)
This explanation was illuminating! We know that there are reasons for why the Master Teacher would use certain analogies and whilst the Parable of the Ten Virgins is a lesson in preparing for the Second Coming, there is reference here to light and tending to that light in our own souls..
We tend to our own ‘lights’ by:
- Trimming our lamps – in order to have the clearest light in our testimonies, we would need to work at ‘trimming’ our lamps. One way we do this may be ensuring we live worthy to have the presence of the Spirit in our hearts. We must ensure we are ready to receive the good things which light the candle of testimony in our hearts.
- Pouring oil into the lamp – when we are ready to receive the fuel, we then study, pray, partake of the sacrament to fuel the flame of testimony in our hearts.
As I studied this analogy, I couldn’t help marveling at the layers that were there within it. We can then link this in with Christ being the Light of the World – but that can be one for a future post. I can’t wait to continue studying the New Testament this year in the Come Follow Me programme.