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Symbol of the shut door shows Christ will return to light the way for us


By Rev Gareth Burke

This has been a busy week in the life of our congregation. Next Monday, demolition contractors are moving in to begin work on knocking down our church building.

In about a month, work will begin on the construction of a new church building on the same site. We intend to be away from our normal location for about a year, worshipping and meeting in different places while the construction work takes place.

So this week has been one of packing and throwing out, moving things and finding storage space.

Today, someone will turn the key in the door of the current church building for the last time. Our occupancy of it, as a congregation, will be ended.

The door will be shut, never to be opened by us again. There's something very final about turning the key for the last time.

In the Bible (Matthew 25: verse 10), we read about a door that was shut and was not going to be opened.

Jesus had been speaking about a wedding. Everyone had gathered at the wedding venue.

The guests, the 10 bridesmaids and the bride herself were all there. They were waiting for the bridegroom to arrive, but he was late.

It seems that in those days the groom was often late.

This groom was so late that the bridesmaids fall asleep.

When the cry went up that he was coming, the bridesmaids woke up and prepared to go out to meet him. It was their role to lead him into the wedding venue in a torchlight procession, which would have looked quite spectacular as it was all happening late at night.

However five of the bridesmaids discovered they didn't have enough oil for their lamps.

By the time they went to get oil and returned, the wedding had started, the door was shut and they couldn't get in.

What is Jesus saying to us? He's the bridegroom. He's returning. He'll come unexpectedly. He wants us to be ready when he comes. We need to be trusting in him as our saviour and Lord, for when he comes, it will be too late, the door of Gospel opportunity will be shut.

As JC Ryle, former Bishop of Liverpool, put it: "It'll be too late to be buying oil when Jesus comes."

Belfast Telegraph

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