December 6, 2010

Dec. 6: Go and tell


By Jeff Hochstetler, admission counselor
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Go and tell


Standing at the side entrance of the Mariendom, in Erfurt, Germany, I stared up at the sculpture work. Adorning either side of the entryway were statues depicting the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins told in Matthew 25. On the one side of the door stood the joyful bridesmaids who had brought enough oil for their lamps to usher in the bridegroom. On the other side were the grieving and weeping figures who – having left to get more oil for their lamps – missed the arrival of the bridegroom and were shut out of the wedding banquet. A favorite parable of the medieval church, its meaning was clear – be prepared for the unexpected hour.

The foolish virgins in the sculpture at Mariendom. Photo by Jeff Hochstetler.

Like in the parable’s announcement of the arrival of the bridegroom, Isaiah and John the Baptist also cry out, declaring that the kingdom of God is near at hand. Listening to the prophets, we are challenged to live into God’s kingdom. Go and tell!

But it seems that going and telling is often much more difficult in today’s culture. There are so many distractions which can often keep us from following this calling. Work, cellphones, Facebook and family vie for our time. If we’re not careful, God can just as quickly be added to our to-do list. In our hope to stay connected, we end up compartmentalizing our lives. How can we be truly aware of God’s presence with us if we can’t be fully attentive? Quite simply, we can’t. Like the foolish bridesmaids, we end up carrying lamps that are only half-filled with oil.

Amidst the rush of the season, may we have the patience to allow ourselves to be filled with and share the Good News. As we wait for Christmas, let us be attentive to our God working in us and through us. With our lamps filled with oil, let us prepare ourselves to welcome the Word made Flesh.



Comments (12)

  1. Your comments, Jeff, are wise and timely. God’s time is different from ours, and we are blessed when it discover it anew.

    Deb December 6, 2010 |
  2. A very much NEEDED message to start this week off. Thank you.

    Alissa December 6, 2010 |
  3. I agree with Alissa. You framed this very well and made a very old parable current. I’ll try to remember it at the start of each day.

    Ron December 6, 2010 |
  4. Hi Jeff: Thanks for these reminding words as we wait.


    Don Good December 6, 2010 |
  5. Thanks, Jeff. Well said.

    Matthew Hochstetler December 6, 2010 |
  6. Thanks for your devotional, Jeff.

    Miriam Zehr December 6, 2010 |
  7. Thank you, Jeff. Being attentive is difficult when we live such fast paced lives. I appreciate your reminder in this devotional.

    Jane Friesen December 6, 2010 |
  8. I really like your devotional. What really stuck out to me was “don’t put God on your to-do list.” I am Director of Christian Ed at our church and sorry to say, I see this all the time. Such a good reminder for all time. Thank you.

    Sandy December 6, 2010 |
  9. Thanks Jeff for your comments, I appreciate the statement about compartmentalizing our lives. We need to be reminded of where God belongs in our daily lives.

    Julia December 6, 2010 |
  10. Thanks for the challenging and encouraging words. I’d write more but I need to email someone and post on FB and…….umm?

    Doug S. December 6, 2010 |
  11. Thank you SO much for this, Jeff. Because of what you said I was minded to try again to try to put God in the ‘driver’s seat’ (or as ‘priority setter’) in my life. Then, everything else should come onto, or off of, my ‘to-do’ list in accordance with that. Tough to keep up though !! Thank you again.

    Jane December 9, 2010 |
  12. It’s freeing to admit “We can’t.” Puts me back into the reality of “Lord, have mercy on me a sinner.”

    Ruth December 10, 2010 |