Archives for November 2014

Lectionary Reflection for the Twenty-Second Sunday after Pentecost

This excerpt comes from Matthew (BTCB) by Stanley Hauerwas, commenting on Matthew 25:1-13:

In order to introduce the parable of the ten bridesmaids, Jesus uses the familiar formula, “The kingdom of heaven will be like this,” only this time he says, “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this.” “Then” signals that he is telling the disciples how they must learn to live in the light of his death and resurrection.

Ten bridesmaids took their lamps to wait for the bridegroom. Five were wise and took with them extra oil for their lamps. Five were foolish and did not prepare ahead. The bridegroom was delayed, and the bridesmaids understandably became drowsy and went to sleep.

But late in the night the shout went out: “Look! Here is the bridegroom!” The bridesmaids arose and trimmed their lamps, but the foolish bridesmaids’ lamps had run out of oil. They asked the five who had brought extra oil to share their oil but they were denied because if they shared their oil it would mean that none of them would have light by the time the bridegroom arrived.

The foolish bridesmaids went to buy extra oil, but by the time they returned the bridegroom had come, the wedding banquet had begun, and the door was shut. The bridesmaids asked that the door be opened, but the bridegroom refused, saying that he did not know them. Jesus admonishes the disciples that they should “keep awake, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

The parable of the bridesmaids, therefore, is at once an invitation to a celebration and a judgment against those who are unprepared. The wise bridesmaids rightly celebrate with the delayed groom because they had prepared for a long night of waiting.

The bridegroom arrived at an unexpected time. The foolish bridesmaids failed to understand that in a time when you are unsure of the time you are in it is all the more important to do what you have been taught to do. In the dark you must keep the lamps ready even if they are not able to overcome the darkness.


©2006 by Stanley Hauerwas. Published by Brazos Press. Unauthorized use of this material without express written permission is strictly prohibited.

Ebook Special for Just Politics by Ronald J. Sider

Now through November 9, the ebook of Just Politics: A Guide for Christian Engagement by Ronald J. Sider is only $3.99 (80% off) from the following participating retailers:


Barnes & Noble



“Sider has given the Christian community yet another thoughtful critique, this time exhorting Christians to become politically active. . . . Just Politics offers an insightful overview of the theology and history of political engagement. Sider has offered Evangelicals convincing reasons to engage politically as well as the beginnings of a methodology for how to do so thoughtfully and effectively.”
Brethren in Christ History and Life

“If I were to pick one book on politics for educated lay readers, this would be it. Sider offers a faithful methodology, starting with the biblical narrative as it shapes our worldview and public philosophy, to a coherent view of the state, to an examination of the pertinent biblical texts, to a judicious study of various sides of the contemporary issues. Biblical, gracious, balanced, this is a fine example of the way evangelical thoughtfulness can make a contribution to our civic lives.”
Byron BorgerHearts & Minds BookNotes blog

Evangelicals today probably have more political influence in the United States than at any time in the last century–but they might not be certain what to do with it. It has been difficult to develop a unified voice on pressing issues such as social justice and moral renewal.

Bestselling author and theologian Ron Sider offers a biblically grounded, factually rooted, Christian approach to politics that cuts across ideological divides. Shaped by a careful study of society, this book will guide readers into more thoughtful and effective political activity.

Practical, balanced, and nonpartisan, this book will be a welcome resource during the 2012 presidential race. It is a revised version of what was previously published as The Scandal of Evangelical Politics and includes a new introduction and revisions throughout.

Ronald J. Sider (PhD, Yale University) is the founder and president emeritus of Evangelicals for Social Action and distinguished professor of theology, holistic ministry, and public policy at Palmer Theological Seminary in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania. He is the author of numerous books, including the bestselling Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger and The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience.