First-century weddings were not like ours today. In those days a wedding could last up to a week. It was a big event, and there was a fun element to it.
Everyone arrived ready to go, but they didn’t know when the groom would appear. He might show up in the morning, in the afternoon, or in the evening. And when he was on his way, they made an announcement so everyone could take their places for the wedding ceremony.
Jesus said, “Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks” (Luke 12:35–36 NLT).
A first-century flashlight basically consisted of a clay dish, oil, and a floating wick. To be prepared, they would carry extra oil in a little flask.
If we were to put this into our vernacular today, it would be like saying, “Have fresh batteries in your flashlight” or “Have your phone charged.”
Jesus also said, “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:16 NLT).
We believe in verbal proclamation of the gospel. We’re not ashamed of it. But we also need to live the gospel. We need to demonstrate the gospel by the way that we live.
We can do this by being a good and godly neighbor. If someone is in the hospital, we visit them. If someone needs prayer, we pray for them. If someone has hit hard times, we take a meal to them. And we do these things in the name of the Lord.
As Christians, we should be shining lights in a dark place. And as our culture grows darker, we need to shine brighter.
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