Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids
Be prepared to meet Jesus
Bells -- one per child; flashlight
Matthew 25: 1-13
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Before you begin, give each child a bell. Have kids hold the bell as still as possible until you give them further instructions.
Wow! In the past year we’ve seen many natural disasters in our world, such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and fires. One thing that we hear over and over again these days is that it’s very important for us to be prepared in case of an emergency.
I remember when I was in school, we used to have disaster drills. Sometimes it was a fire drill. They would ring the school bell three times. (Invite kids to ring their bells three times.) All of the students lined up and marched outside the school building to a safe place. When they were sure it was safe, they rang the bell two times and the students returned to their classrooms. (Invite kids to ring their bells two times.) If there was a tornado drill, they rang the bell four times. (Invite kids to ring their bells four times.) The students lined up and marched to a safe room in the center of the building where they would "duck and cover." (Invite kids to practice ducking and covering.) The teachers always carried flashlights in case the lights went out. When it was safe, they rang the bell two times. (Invite kids to ring their bells two times.) Then the students returned to their classrooms.
It’s important to be prepared when something unexpected happens. In our school, it was important for all of the students and teachers to know the warning signal, where to go, and the signal that told them it was safe to return to their classrooms. In a tornado drill, the teachers had to make sure there were batteries in the flashlights and the flashlights were working properly. (Turn on the flashlight and shine it around the room.) Being prepared can mean the difference between safe or sorry...so be prepared.
Jesus once told a story to teach us the importance of being prepared. In Jesus' story, ten bridesmaids took their oil lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Jesus said that five of them were foolish because they had their lamps, but they didn't bring any extra oil to put in their lamps. When it was time to go out and meet the bridegroom, they were out of oil. The other five were very wise and well-prepared. They had brought plenty of oil for their lamps. When it was time to go out and meet the bridegroom, they were ready.
In this story, the bridegroom is Jesus and you and I are the bridesmaids. One day we’re going to meet Jesus and we must be prepared because we don't know exactly when He’s coming. The great news is, what we do to prepare is pretty simple. We must invite Jesus to come into our hearts. When we do that, we are ready.
Dear Jesus, we know one day we’ll get to meet you face to face. Help us get ready for that wonderful day. In Jesus’ name, amen.