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2 December 2016

Friday 2 December

[Matthew 25: 1-13]

Active and Focussed Waiting

Today’s passage continues the theme of wise and foolish ways of waiting. Unlike the servants in yesterday’s passage, the girls in this story have only one task: to keep their lamps burning so that they can light their lamps to welcome the bridegroom to the wedding banquet. Waiting, when we can’t keep busy, is a real challenge to our concentration and focus. It’s hard work for the mind. Some of the girls kept to the task; others were silly and careless.

A story is told of a percussion player in an orchestra. They were to perform Ravel’s Bolero, and had been rehearsing hard. The man’s job was to strike the cymbals as a great climax at the end of the piece. If you have heard Ravel’s Bolero, you will know the same tune and the same rhythm are repeated throughout – 18 variations of the same melody, each played by different instruments. The percussion player had to listen very carefully and count the bars until his great moment came. One lapse of concentration, one brief shift of focus and he lost count! He missed his entry and it was too late for his great finale. Perhaps he took his eyes off the conductor?

When we are waiting for Christ’s Second Coming, we need constantly to have our attention on our heavenly Conductor; we need to be watching and following what the other parts of his Body, the Church, are doing as we together follow his direction – with an openness to the world. May we be ever ready to play our part however small when the moment comes. Active and focussed waiting.


For further reflection, please read Tom Wright – Advent for Everyone, A Journey Through Matthew, pages 23-27