Martin Luther King once said that the tragedy of the civil rights movement was not the evil done by the bad people, but the indifference of the “good” people—those who did not take the opportunities that were open to them. One theme of the last three weeks of Gospel lessons is the tragedy of lost opportunity. Three weeks ago Jesus taught that even in hardship we can find blessings. The foolish bridesmaids from two weeks ago missed the feast because they missed the opportunity to get oil for their lamps. Last week, the slave with one talent failed to take the opportunity to make an increase on what had been given to him by his master. All missed opportunities.
I grew up in a culture that some of you might connect with:
A child is to be seen, and (not heard)
Don’t speak to an adult unless (you are spoken to)
This culture taught me to stay quiet, and to believe I should never think I am very good at anything. In language as a Christian, I learned to ignore God’s gifts in me.
Reverend Ardyss asked us to consider if our oil jar of faith is kept filled, to ensure that we are ‘ready’.
This group of people I just introduced you to have been my great cloud of witnesses that are mentioned in Hebrews 12:1. They kept me moving on a path that I didn’t realize was a path until years later.