July 14, 2016

Wick Trimmers

A lamp trimmer on a ship specialized in maintaining oil lamps and a poorly trimmed wick resulted in a flame that was dim and smoky. Jesus told the Parable of the Ten Virgins, “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps” (Matt 25:6-7 NIV). The virgins could have simply roused from their sleep, grabbed their lamp and went out to meet the bridegroom with a dim light. However, they took care to trim their lamps so that the flame would burn bright and clear. We know that Jesus, the Bridegroom, is at the door…I suspect that some of us have dim lights and it would behoove us to trim the wicks of our lamps.

1 comment:

Steve Corey said...


-----I thought that if we were His He would take us when He came. That way we wouldn’t have to guess at finding Him in all this confusion about how and when He comes again, like we hear it so often put, “I’m not pre-trib or post-trib; I’m just pro-rapture.” If He’s got all the squares covered, then who needs a lamp?
-----Then again, do we really go from this world that passively? Looking into the material of the metaphor, the groom coming for his bride could not at all have been too smart or caring if his betrothed would miss him for simply not having her lamp trimmed. After all, he was coming for her. What did he do, forget where she lived? Or was he willing to come into her section of the town but not go to her door? Maybe she was the daughter of a pit-bull farmer. Whatever the circumstances, this groom evidently did not want his bride badly enough to do all he could do in making sure he arrived at her home. Metaphors are good for only so much. The Lord does everything He can to not loose His own.
-----Of course, we’re not supposed to go “I think/I feel/I believe”, but regardless, somehow I do believe that the metaphorical matter of lamp trimming is not about watching for the Lord’s return so much as it is about the truth of our desire to be His. All these brides who collected under the same roof with lamps were intent upon not missing the groom. Having the lamp indicates that preparedness. But the funny thing about reality is that it does not bend to our perceptions. In reality, partial is yet partial no matter how complete one thinks/feels/believes it is. Having a lamp is partial. Having also the oil the lamp needs to burn is complete. Some brides did not desire the groom enough to assure completeness of what they needed to have him.
-----This looks a little scary to me. For when the Bible tells us to be ready, how ready does it mean? Can any of us, yet being in our imperfection, be perfectly ready? Of course not. That is why our salvation depends upon Him. We so lack the price that our becoming like Him only happens in stages (II Cor 3:18.) But that does not preclude our preparing more in the next moment than we were in the moment before.
-----Having the oil and trimming the lamps doesn’t mean we have to know all about how and when He comes so we can go out and find Him on the day we must. It means we are ambitious enough to belong to Him to do what we can. That we have extra oil and not just a lamp alone means we understand “what we can” means what we can. That we’ve done what we can is kind of like a testament to our desire. That we continue to do what we can continues to testify. And of course the groom is going to be sure to find his bride. She’s the one who desires Him enough to be doing what she can to meet Him, even though she can never herself do everything it takes to get Him.

Love you all,
Steve Corey