In the parable of the bridesmaids, Jesus gives us, not instructions on how to get into heaven, but an example of how not to.

Jesus isn’t nearly as focused on our getting into heaven as we are
Proper 27A  |  Matthew 25:1-13

Getting In - a homily for Proper 27A

It was about this time 4 years ago when my friend Bruce died. He was a faithful and pious man. He had a real certainty about church teaching that I never did. Some of it we didn’t see eye-to-eye on, but I promised him that regardless of what happens in the church, he would enrich us with his presence.

That’s why I was so surprised by his fear in his last week of life. He was afraid that he wouldn’t get in. That Jesus wouldn’t let him in. That he had messed up too badly. And nothing I said, in the fever of his dying, would change that.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never worried about getting into heaven. I don’t have that fear of messing up with God. And maybe that’s why I always bring up that pious young man trying to inherit a place in the kin-dom: because it doesn’t seem to work that way.

Except that we have this parable of the bridesmaids in which “getting in” seems to be the whole point. It seems to be the whole point.

The full text and audio may be downloaded above or here.