Published in  
February 26, 2021

Lenten Gestures - Consummating

When we hear the word “consummating,” we immediately think of the fulfillment of a sexual act between new marital partners.

Matthew 25:10

"And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut."

We’ve spent the past week thinking through the repercussions of time and the need to prepare for what will come. The latter presupposes that we hold the assumption that something will indeed occur at some point. In reading into the actions (or lack thereof) of the unwise bridesmaids, one wonders whether they failed to properly prepare out of neglect, simple foolishness, or even a lack of faith that the bridegroom would actually arrive. Perhaps they wondered whether they would be accepted once the bridegroom finally showed. In any case, their lack of preparation thwarted any attempt on their part to enter the longed for space of acceptance and security.

For many believers, the question of grace lingers in this passage. Why weren’t the unwise bridesmaids offered a chance at redemption? Doesn’t grace cover all folly? However, Matthew 25: 10 informs us of otherwise. The verse demonstrates the harsh reality that there will in fact come a time when the opportunity to connect with the bridegroom will pass.

When we hear the word “consummating,” we immediately think of the fulfillment of a sexual act between new marital partners. However, consummating may also refer to the perfection or full completion of something. In exploring the metaphor of Matthew 25: 1-13, we recognize a call to  prepare to meet our bridegroom with a sense of urgency. In that meeting will come the fullness of our completion and the perfection of our being. Nevertheless, as the passage also indicates - access to this completion, to this consummation of loving and following Jesus, is not guaranteed.

Where are we wise in our preparation? Where are we foolish? Should the bridegroom finally arrive, will He find us ready to step into His perfection?

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Art: Dea Jenkins | Amoeba Series: "Time" | watercolor and ink on handmade pastel paper | 2019