ARE YOU WAITING, TOO... ?
WARTEN SIE AUCH ...?
A man waits at a bus-stop.
An unpleasant, cold west wind, accompanied by a light rain shower,
blows across the land.
Shivering the waiting man snuggles down into his coat.
A second person enters the scene. He wants to start a conversation.
"Are you waiting, too?" He actually poses this silly question.
"Are you waiting, too?"
"Yes", says the first man, "Yes, I am waiting, too."
of the Ten Virgins:
Nativity Scene Of Time
Paderborn Cathedral: The five prudent virgins
time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their
lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish and five were wise.
The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.
The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.
The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy
and fell asleep.
At midnight the cry rang out: 'Here's the bridegroom! Come out to
Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.
The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil; our
lamps are going out.'
'No,' they replied, 'there may not be enough for both us and you.
Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived.
The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet.
And the door was shut.
Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door
But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
Matthew 25, 1 - 13
The testimony of this story is short and precise:
Nativity Scene Of Time.
Should Jesus' parable really be seen as narrow-minded as demonstrated
Or will we all go to heaven, because we are all so good?
In my mind I walk the streets asking people, "Are you waiting,
Most of them tap their foreheads: "Must be out of his mind,
that old fellow!"
Some however are actually waiting:- for good fortune, for a huge
lotto prize, for their next holiday, for Christmas, for better days,
But - I have not asked properly; I enquire more precisely: Are
you waiting, too - for Jesus?"
Similar reactions. Although occasionally someone asks: "Are
you a Jehovah's Witness or something like that?" And another
says: "Now tell me, what sect do you belong to?"
Apparently I have asked the wrong people.
And my thought wander to a church: "You must be waiting, too?"
"Yes", I am answered, "Yes, we are waiting, too:-
for the end of oppression and exploitation, for a world full of
righteousness, for the equality of woman, for a better environment,
for the preservation of creation, for
Let us unite in our efforts to build up the new world. And let us
hope for the help of the Lord with all the tasks ahead of us."
Only occasionally someone will say quite simply, "Yes, I am
waiting, too - for Jesus."
Jesus spoke of the ten girls.
Ten as the complete number of those waiting!
And there are five prudent and five foolish girls. Mathematically
correct: 50% each side.
In Matthew 24, 40-41 Jesus also says:
"Two men will be in the field; one will be
taken and the other left. 41Two women will be grinding with a hand
mill; one will be taken and the other left."
To which of the 50%'s do I belong?
Nativity Scene Of Time.
Paderborn Cathedral: The five foolish virgins.
In a congregation each person is responsible for the others, too.
For years and decades.
In deed and prayers of supplication.
Some speak openly of the "Union of well-being".
The ten girls are young friends, who probably all played with the
bride as children. That means many joint adventures, much joint mischief.
Now they are waiting. In the common trust of old friends.
And then - suddenly the time has come! The groom has arrived!
And now the five foolish girls discover that they have no more oil
for their lamps.
As usual they turn to their "prudent" friends. "Come
on, lend us a hand or we won't be able to go to the feast. Come on!
Don't be like that! We have done so much together and we've always
helped each other out! We've been friends through thick and thin!
A tightly knit union!"
Yet the answer is a tough, "NO!"
"No, we cannot help you, otherwise we won't have enough oil left
for ourselves. And that will mean that we will be left behind, too!
Run to the dealer and buy some for yourselves."
Thus ends the "union of well-being".
A wedding feast is being held.
Because it is late, the door is shut.
It is a wonderful, joyful feast.
Meantime the foolish girls have been to the dealer. They have got
him out of his bed and have purchased oil from him.
Now they have returned.
"Hallo, here we are! Open the door! We want to take part in the
festivities! We want to join in the fun! Hallo!"
The owner of the house goes to the door. He looks at the five girls
and grumbles: "what do you want here? I don't know you!"
Everything has gone wrong!
They had belonged to the group, done everything the others had done,
waited patiently - until their eyes had fallen shut.
Actually at this point I could lie back peacefully:
Luckily this is only an imaginary, fictive tale Jesus told. A parable,
But no! This story is meant for me, too! It forces me to think.
Oh, yes! I am shocked, worried, horrified just as Jesus' listeners
were when they first heard it.
Because I do really and truly want to go to this special feast!
Jesus compares the time of his coming again to the time Noah lived:
For in the days before the flood, people were
eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the
day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would
happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how
it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.
Matthew 24, 38 - 39
In addition an (imagined) story:
Mightily the new dam blocks the valley, taming the often unruly river,
turning it into a beautiful, mighty lake.
Prominent guests came to the opening, proud of this man-made achievement,
painting the vision of a wonderful future.
But then, not long after, the first cracks appeared in the dam: A
mistaken construction or bad work?
It had rained a lot over the past weeks. The lake behind the dam was
more than full. The water flows eagerly, noisily to and fro, pressing
powerfully against the ever-growing cracks. The lower lying village
has been evacuated - just in case!
Only an old Grandmother remains. She doesn't want to leave. She has
kept her young grandson, whose parents suffered a deadly accident
just a short while ago, with her.
The water leaking from the dam has already formed small streams. The
young boy is happily playing with self-made watermills, which he holds
in these ever growing streams.
Occasionally he jumps, startled and afraid of what the roaring sound
of water in the background could mean.
"Grandma, what's that?" he asks in a worried voice, "What's
that loud noise?"
And his Grandmother answers:
"Keep on playing my boy, just keep on playing
Perhaps we too should now stop "playing with our watermills".
Perhaps we should pay more attention to the mighty roar, which can
be heard everywhere. Perhaps we should start to wait in joy and be
prepared - for the coming of our Lord!
awake, for night is flying!
The watchmen on the heights are crying:
Awake, Jerusalem, at last!
Midnight hears the welcome voices,
And at the thrilling cry rejoices:
Come forth, you virgins, night is past!
The bridegroom comes; awake,
Your lamps with gladness take; hallelujah!
And for his marriage feast prepare,
For you must go to meet him there.
hears the watchmen singing,
And all her heart with joy is springing;
She wakes, she rises from her gloom;
For her Lord comes down all-glorious,
The strong in grace, in truth victorious;
Her Star is risen, her Light is come!
Ah, come, thou blessèd One,
God's own belovèd son; Hallelujah!
We follow till the halls we see
Where Thou hast bid us dine with Thee.
|Now let all the heavens
And men and angels sing before Thee,
With harp and cymbal's clearest tone;
Of one pearl each shining portal,
Where we are with the choir immortal
Of angels round Thy dazzling throne;
No eye has seen, no ear
Has yet attained to hear
What there is ours;
But we rejoice and sing to Thee
Our hymns of joy eternally.
Text and tune (Hans
Sachs) Philipp Nicolai 1556-1608
After the translation by Catherine Winkworth 1829-1878
Are you waiting, too
.? - full of joy
- well prepared
.? - with your oil
With man this is impossible, but with God all
things are possible.
Matthew 19, 26
Nativity Scene Of Time.
The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Münster Strassburg - Kluge Jungfrau.
Bild: Herkunft nicht nachvollziehbar