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?
Lack of alternative solutions?
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?
What kind of controlled life is she getting into?
Bridesmaids, her best friends,  were barred from her banquet?

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 separates the haves and the have nots callously .                                                                Doesn’t this strike you as offensive?

Parables were used by Jesus as mirrors to show us the distorted images we hold of God. When all else fails, Jesus resorts to the negative to show the positive, to show how off base we are.

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

Does  looking out for oneself cut it in Gods kingdom?       Who are the people 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?

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

Our spiritual torches have grown dim and and for some they have gone out . Who will provide the light we need?

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