Matthew 25 tells three stories related to waiting. We have the parable of the wise and foolish virgins, the parable of the talents, and then we get a glimpse of the future when the Son of Man, on his throne, separates his people according to what was done while waiting for the king. These three stories relate how we are to live in the present, shaped and marked by a future.Yet there is a peculiar and mysterious thing about our faith—our end goal is not an inaccessible, unattainable prospect. Our future, an eternity spent with God, through the invitation of Jesus Christ, breaks into the present. What we do now, while we wait for the bridegroom, master, and king, shapes and transform us into the people of God.
Matthew 25, first off, shows us the importance of knowing Jesus as the bridegroom. The impending intimacy of a deep relationship with God causes the wise person to carry enough oil for the realistic long wait. Artist, likewise, must presently live as the beloved, but that is not all. In the second story of Matthew 25, we learn there is something for each of us to do in while we wait the Master’s return. As Christians we are called to grow and expand the talantons—the portions of accumulated wealth—he has entrusted to each of us. Our natural abilities, our vocations, our material possessions, our social positions and networks, all that has been given to us, needs to be cultivated. For it is the entrepreneurial servant the master deemsgood. The servant whose only action was to preserve, finds darkness and sorrow. Beloved artists must work and shape this world as servants of the returning master.
And finally, we must live life waiting for our king. In the final tale of Matthew 25 we find social responsibility is a component of spirituality. Those who alleviate hunger, thirst, exposure, and maladies are fit to sit at the right of the throne. If Jesus is the good king, his priority is proper care for his kingdom. A thriving kingdom provides the basic needs for its inhabitants by seeking human flourishing through all sectors: economics, law, art, education, health care and more. With the love of the bridegroom and privileges given by the master we are called to work together with Jesus to build his kingdom whose reign will extend into eternity. Culture renewal comes from the spiritual renewal of waiting for Jesus as bridegroom, master, and king.