Ten bridesmaids came to a wedding banquet prepared and on time.

They brought lamps and oil.  Five had just enough(foolish).  Five had a surplus(wise).

The bridegroom was late and the wedding turned into a total humiliation.

Wherein does the fault lie?

The groom’s unexcused lateness?
The poor planning by the”foolish virgins, or the selfishness of the “wise” bridesmaids?
Blaming and punishing the women?
Focusing on the wrong character/s?

HERE COMES THE BRIDE  (She’s not even mentioned)

Shouldn’t she have been be consulted about her own wedding feast?                                           Why didn’t she intervene?
Bridesmaids, her best friends,  were barred from her banquet?                                           What kind of controlled life is she getting into?

Happy ending or a miserable beginning?

Surprise, we don’t like this story!   Who/what do you find unacceptable?                       Jesus is putting  women down, pitting women against one another?
He callously separates the haves and the have nots.                                                                Doesn’t the lock out strike you as offensive?

What’s going on here?

Parables were used by Jesus as mirrors to show us the distorted images we hold of God or of God’s intended kingdom.   Jesus resorts to the negative when all else fails,  to show how off base we are.

God and God’s Kingdom

Does this parable show a welcoming God?                                                                                 What happened to “knock and the door will be opened? ”                                                                                                                                                                                     The prodigal son and other banquets stories about God’s kingdom have a positive and welcoming ending, why is this one different?                                                                                      Is our God fickle, partial?

Does  looking out for oneself cut it in Gods kingdom?                                                                 Who are the people still being shut out of the banquet?                                                                     What doors are still closed to women in God’s kingdom?                                                        When you are being shut out, do you go back and demand your rightful place?                 Our spiritual torches have grown dim in this age  and for some they have gone out . Who will provide the light we need?

So, it’s not happily ever after.

Women’s stories, even biblical ones, are being resurrected and retold today so that now we can enjoy, or at least imagine, the stories from a women’s perspective…. and even perhaps, with  different endings.

How would  the story  be retold to reflect the God you now believe in?