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LordGod,HeavenlyFather, WeprayYoutoguardandkeepussothatthedevil,theworld,andourownfleshmaynotdeceiveusnor leadusintounbelief...andthoughwebetempted,thatwemaystillintheendovercomeandretainthe victorythatisoursthroughJesusChrist.1 Amen.

Matthew25:113 Thenthekingdomofheavenshallbelikenedtotenvirginswhotooktheirlampsandwentouttomeetthe bridegroom.2Nowfiveofthemwerewise,andfivewerefoolish.3Thosewhowerefoolishtooktheirlamps andtooknooilwiththem,4butthewisetookoilintheirvesselswiththeirlamps.5Butwhilethebridegroom wasdelayed,theyallslumberedandslept.


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Andatmidnightacrywasheard:Behold,thebridegroomiscominggoouttomeethim!7Thenallthose

virginsaroseandtrimmedtheirlamps.8Andthefoolishsaidtothewise,Giveussomeofyouroil,forour lampsaregoingout.9Butthewiseanswered,saying,No,lestthereshouldnotbeenoughforusandyou butgorathertothosewhosell,andbuyforyourselves.10Andwhiletheywenttobuy,thebridegroom came,andthosewhowerereadywentinwithhimtotheweddingandthedoorwasshut.


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Afterwardtheothervirginscamealso,saying,Lord,Lord,opentous!12Butheansweredandsaid,

Assuredly,Isaytoyou,Idonotknowyou.
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Watchtherefore,foryouknowneitherthedaynorthehourinwhichtheSonofManiscoming.

TheseareYourWords,heavenlyFather,sanctifyusintheTruthYourWordisTruth.

Havingbeenpreparingtobecomeapastorforsomethinglike6yearsnow,Ivehadtheopportunity totellmanypeoplewhatImstudying.Itsanaturalquestionthatcomesup,whatareyougoingtocollege for?ItellthemImgoingtobeapastor.Unfortunately,theresponseItypicallyget,Idontknowhow manytimesIvehearditinthesepast6years:Oh...Iusedtobereligious.Kyrieeleison. Intheparableofthetenvirgins,fivewerefoolish,ChristianswhoatonetimeweretrueChristians, buthavebecomethosewhousedtobereligious.Letustakeheedthewarningoftheirexamplethatwe neverbecomeonewhosenamewasblottedoutofthebookoflife2becauseofspiritualapathy,butthatwe remaininthefaithuntiltheendtoawakenfromthedeadandrisetoeternallife.

Awakefromyoursloth,risetolife Oneofthe7deadlysinsoftheancientchurchwassloth.Slothisspiritualoremotionalapathy. Itsaneglectingofthedutiesyouhaveinthislifewhetheryouareadoctor,lawyer,teacher,farmer, student,husband,orwifeifyouneglectyourduties,thisissloth.Awakefromyoursloth,risetolife.Do diligentlytheworkthathasbeenpreparedforyoutodo.Ifharvesttimecomesandthewholefieldhasyet


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LuthersSmallCatechism,LordsPrayer Rev.3:5Hewhoovercomesshallbeclothedinwhitegarments,andIwillnotblotouthisnamefromtheBookof LifebutIwillconfesshisnamebeforeMyFatherandbeforeHisangels.

tobeharvestedbecauseafarmerwatchedTValldayeveryday(notsayingthatanyofyoudothis),you knowwhatwillhappen.Thewholefieldwillgotowasteandhelllosetheentirecrop.Helostthewhole field,andallofhisworkiswasted,forapathyattheend. Thetenvirginshaveadutytodoalso.InancientJewishweddingcustoms,thebrideandgroom arebetrothedtoeachother.Similartoananengagement,butexceptthetwoarealreadylegallymarried. Afewshortweeksaftertheirbetrothal,thegroomwouldgotogethisbridetobringherbacktohishome, wheretheconsummationofthemarriagewouldtakeplaceandthecelebrationwouldbegin.Younggirls wouldaccompanythebridewithhergroomtothebanquetfeast. Tenvirginsaretoaccompanythebride.Theyalltaketheirlampsforitwillsoonbenight.Butthe groomisdelayed.Thetenyounggirlsallfallasleep.Finallyacrywasheard:Awake!Behold,the bridegroomiscominggoouttomeethim!Butwhilethebridegroomwasdelayed,5ofthegirlsranoutof oilfortheirlamps.Theybegthegirlswhowerewiseandhadoil,buttheycannothelp,sothefoolish virginsmustgobuyoil.Butitstoolate.Thebridegroomcomesandtheywerenotready.Itdoesnogood thattheyweretoaccompanythebridalparty.Slothisadeadlysininthisway.Theirelectionto accompanythebridehasbeenwasted,forapathyattheend.

AlltenvirginsareChristians.Oratleasttheyusedtobe.Thefivefoolishvirginsarethosewho usedtobereligious.TheslothofformerChristianshasextendedthemfrommereapathyofvocational duties,togravespiritualapathy. Youmayhaveoftenheard,ashaveI,ofthosewhousedtobereligious,whatitwasthatturned themawayfromthechurch.Manytimesitwillbethatapersonislivinginsomewayordoingsomething thatthechurchsaysisasin.Howjudgementalofthechurchtocondemnmyactions,theythink. Butdontthinkthiscanthappentous!Oursinfulnaturewantsnothingtodowithreligion.Itdoes notwanttobecontrolled.ItwantstodonothingelsethantorebelagainstwhatGodclearlysaysinhis word.Howoftenarewetemptedtothink,Icancontinueinthissinfornow.Illstopsoonenough.God hasntcondemnedmeyet,andHesureisntgoingtocomeanytimesoon! WethinkoftheWordofGodbeinganicebook,butyetwedontlistentoit.Weareperfectlyfine readingselfhelpbooks,improvingourselves,ourstature,ourwealth,andsoon,butnotrealizingthatwe havebeenslothfultothosethattrulyneedourhelp.OrrealizingthatwevebeenslothfultoGodsWord:I dontneedtoreceivecommunioneveryweek,ortogetpreachedatagain.Icouldgetbywithstaying home.Imspiritualenough.Idontneedthereligionofthechurch.Atleastnotnow. Thisisadelusionoffaith.Ifweareneglectingtoputintopracticethefaiththatwehave,ifwefail toreceiveGodsabsolutioneachweekintheSacramentandHisWord,weareweakeningourfaith, becausewehaveremovedJesusfromit.Wehaveremovedtheoilofourlanterns,andourflameisdying. WehaveremovedJesuswhospokerealthingsandgaveusrealcommands,andalsohasgivenusHis realbodyandbloodforthetimeswhenwehavefailedtofollowHiscommands.Ifthishappens,we becomeChristianswithoutChrist,andthatisnotChristianityatall.Awakefromyoursloth,maintainyour faithandrisetoliveyourfaith!

Thisisimportant!Ifyoudontthinkthateternallifemattersrightnow,wakeup!Whenyouare facingyourowngrave,thisstuffmatters!Thelanternofourfaithmatters.Theoilofourlanternmatters. Jesusmatters.Itmaynotseemtomatternow,butitwillmatteronjudgementday.3Letusnotgetcaught slothfulinourfaithonjudgementdaylikethefoolishvirginsandwasteourelectionasmembersofthe bridalpartyofthechurch,thebrideofChrist,forourapathyattheend.

Awakefromthedead,risetoeternallife Todaywerememberthefaithfuldeparted.Wearegratefultothedead,youmightsay.Weare thankfulforthefaiththatwasheldfirmanddefendedagainstthearmyofthesinfulworld.Wearethankful forallthosewhohavereliedonJesusandtrustedinJesustoovercometheirsinfulnatureandremainin faithtotheend. Wearethankfultotheapostles,theprophets,andtheearlyChristians.Wearethankfultothe reformers,confessors,andourpastors.Wearethankfultoparentsandgrandparentsandgreat grandparentsforteachingusthisfaithandcontinuingtopassthefaithdowngenerationtogeneration. Godhasawakenedfaithinourhearts.Godhascreatedfaithandawakensinyourheartapersonal trustofChristChristwhohasconquereddeath.Christsdeathconquereddeath,andourdeathdiedwith Him.Aswedie,hedied,butasHerose,weshallrise.Ourfaithinthis,inJesusdeath,resurrection,and oursalvationhereandnowandineternity,raisesourdefianceagainstsin,death,hell,thedevilandall enemiesofGod.4 ThewisevirginsareallthoseChristianswhohavekeptthelanternoffaithalivewithJesus.We willsomedaybeamongthosesaintstriumphant.Butthisrequiresthatourwickscontinuetobetrimmed, ourlanternslit,andourfireburning.Theconsistentoil,theblood,thatwereceiveintheLordsSupper keepsourlanternsburninguntiljudgementday,whenthebridegroomcomes.Theoilburnsbrightbecause itisJesushimself.WereceiveJesussacramentallyinHisbodyandblood.Thesubstanceofourfaithis JesusHimself,andthelightofourfaithisproofthatwearealiveinChrist. Myfavoritehymn,(aChristmashymn)hasabeautifulline,aprayertoletusremainfaithful,andto lettheflame,thelightofourfaithnotonlycontinuetogrow,buttogrowbrighter: Jesus,guardandguideThymembersFillThybrethrenwithThygraceheartheirprayersineveryplace. BrightennowfaithsglowingembersgrantallChristiansfarandnear,Holypeace,andgodlycheer!5 Wewillalldie,butunlikethosewholiveonlyfortheworld,wecansaythatwewouldratherdie thanlive,sothatwejointhesaintsinheaven.Thebridegroomwillcomeandwillcalltous,Awakefrom thedead,risetoeternallife! Afterwedie,whenourbodiesarewokenfromthesleepofdeath,likethefivewisevirgins,wewill beabletoaccompanythebride...wewillaccompanythechurchofalltimeandallplaces...tomeetthe bridegroom,JesusChristinthemarriagebanquetofheaven.

FromD.Moldstad,Nov1,2013ChapelHomily MartinLuther,TrinityXXVIIfromBaseley 5 ORejoice,YeChristians,Loudly!v.2


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Novisioneverbrought,Noearhathevercaught,Suchgreatglory.Blessedwillwe,sweetjubilee, SingGloriaeternally.6

GlorybetotheFather,andtotheSon,andtotheHolySpirit,asitwasinthebeginning,isnow, andevershallbe,worldwithoutend.Amen.

Wake,Awake,forNightisFlying,ELH544,v.3