Since I was a teenager I have been fascinated by the women of the scriptures. They have been wonderful teaching resources for me as I have grown from a child to a daughter, a wife, a mother, and a daughter of God. It has not been an easy transition. Let me tell you. I am human. I am flawed. I am stubborn. But now as I raise two, human, flawed, and stubborn daughters of my own, I look to the women of the scriptures to help guide me in raising my girls.
My favorite women of the scriptures come from Matthew chapter 25, verses 1-13, the parable of the 10 virgins. If you are not familiar with the story, it’s a good one. Traditionally amongst the Jews, the bridegroom would come at night for the bride, where her bridesmaids were attending to her. Upon his approach, the bridesmaids would go out with lamps and light his way to the home for a celebration. In this parable, Christ taught that the kingdom of heaven was like 10 virgins; 5 of them were wise and 5 of them were foolish. The ones that were foolish took their lamps with no oil; the 5 that were wise took oil with them to the house of the bride. They rested while they waited for the bridegroom to arrive. When the time came to go light the way for the bride groom, the wise virgins got their lamps ready and lit them. The foolish girls begged the wise girls for their oil, for they had none. The wise virgins told the foolish ones to go purchase some oil for their lamps. So they left to get oil, and the wise girls took their lights and were beacons of light for the bridegroom. They all went into the celebration together, and they shut the doors. The foolish girls who had left to get oil missed the party. But that is not all that Christ taught. When the foolish virgins came back from purchasing their oil, they came to the door to be let in. They were told that they were not known to the Lord, and that they should be careful and watch for they do not know the day or the time which the Son of man will arrive. Wow! What a story to teach us to always be prepared and do what we can for ourselves to be ready for the coming of Christ.
As I have studied this parable over and over again in my life and looked to share this with my children, I have looked to all of the little parts of the story. I have come to see myself as an oil (the spirit and light of Christ) lamp. I can shine bright and light the way for others to come onto Christ. Or, I can be dim and just sustain a little bit of light for myself, or I can be completely dark and empty and have nothing to give. A lamp can be full of oil (the spirit and light of Christ), but when you tip the lamp the oil (the light of Christ) can be poured from it. I liken this to sin. I sin. I sin a lot. I am imperfect. But I can add a drop back to my oil lamp each and every time I repent. So when I sin, oil is poured from (me) my lamp. When I repent, oil is added to (me) my lamp. There are other ways I can add oil (the spirit and light of Christ). Attending my church meetings and answering the call to serve in church auxiliaries is a way that I add oil to my lamp. Keeping the covenants I made at baptism helps to refill the oil. Keeping to the commandments refills the oil. Another great way I add oil to my lamp is to serve other people. My oldest and I like to work at the clothes closet and food bank and soup kitchens. Reading scriptures and prayer as a family are great ways to add oil (light of Christ) to my lamp. Writing for Titus II Woman is another way that I add oil to my lamp. Sharing my love of Christ and my testimony with all of the readers fills my lamp. Will you leave your lamp empty, or will you shine bright for all to see?
There are so many ways that we can add oil to our lamps. Sisters, I testify to you that as we grow in our relationship with Christ and our heavenly Father, we will seek to find new ways to fill our oil lamps so that we can shine brighter and bring others to Christ, so that no one is ever left out in the dark. I leave this testimony with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
How will you fill your oil lamp?