Pentecost + 21- Year A
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
The kingdom of heaven will be like this. Twenty bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. On the way 10 of their lamps went out. Now let’s have no grieving for them for hope will see us through. Since we believe that Jesus’ lamp went out and was relit again, even so, through Jesus, God will relight those 10 lamps that went out. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord that we, whose lights still burn, will not precede those whose lamps failed.
Of course there was muttering for having a light had so privileged their holders before this. Revisionist history is difficult to come to grips with (see 5 Logical Fallacies That Make You Wrong More Than You Think).
So the apologist continues: For the Lord’s cry, the Archangel’s call, and God’s trumpet (in some order or other) will descend from heaven and the unlit will rise first. Then the remainder, with lamps aglow, will be caught up and join them in the clouds. And we will all live happily ever after.
Tell one another this until you believe it.
And people still wanted to win - to have their lit lamp signify their privilege;
still didn’t see this rise from probable to the way everything else works;
still feared they would be forgotten if they weren’t first;
still participated in double-standards that left them on top; and
still couldn’t understand this story-telling as a fact.
So what are you telling yourself and others about heaven elsewhere than here and now?