“While they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open up to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’” Our pastor looked up from his Bible and swept the congregation with his eyes. “This scripture speaks about the importance of preparedness. We do not know the day or the hour of Christ’s return, so we must always be prepared for His coming.”
Pastor Mark leaned forward with both hands on the pulpit. His smile was teasing. “I recently witnessed an amusing example of this when I visited the home of a couple from our church.”
I felt my stomach twist and Cynthia slid a little lower in the pew. She had caught on to the coming message as fast as I had.
Pastor Mark continued, “I won’t name any names, but let’s just say they haven’t been married for long.” A chuckle rippled through the congregation of less than two hundred. Cynthia’s head dipped down below my shoulder.
“I dropped by one evening and they invited me to stay for dinner. After the meal, the Mrs. offered me dessert. Well, you all know how much I watch my pie intake.” Pastor Mark patted his ample waist, triggering more laughter. “I politely refused. But when her husband decided to go ahead and have a piece of that sweet smelling homemade apple pie; well, I’m only made of flesh like the rest of you. So I changed my mind and asked for a piece too.”
Struggling to keep a straight face, Pastor Mark rested his elbows on the pulpit. I wondered if Cynthia was going to slide herself all the way to the floor.
“You would’ve thought I’d rolled a bowling ball down the middle of the table,” Pastor Mark said. “That sweet couple looked at each other and the Mr. finally ‘fessed up that there had only been one piece of pie left.” Pastor Mark waited for the laughter to settle down. “I believe I know of at least two people who will be prepared at all times for the coming of the Lord – and their pastor.”
After the service, I waited until we were in the parking lot before speaking.
“Well, at least he didn’t use our names.”
“Hmph! He didn’t have to, did he?”
“Aw, Cynthia, it wasn’t so bad. At least we don’t have to worry about him using the story for a sermon anymore.”
Cynthia stopped and twisted her mouth as she glared at me. I reached out and pushed her nose with the tip of my finger. She fought it hard, but a smile tickled her lips and she giggled. I put an arm around her as I reached to open the passenger door of our truck. The handle popped.
“Oops, guess I need the keys, huh?” I said as I dropped my free hand into my pocket. It was met with emptiness. I smiled at Cynthia as I reached into my other pocket. Same result.
A fingernail tapping glass froze me in place.
“Is that what you’re looking for?” I did not need to follow her finger to know where my truck keys were. I chuckled nervously. “Now, honey, everyone makes mistakes.”
“Hmph!” I knew the smile button trick wouldn’t work a second time.
A familiar voice saved me - sort of. “Cynthia, you forgot your Bible.”
We turned to see our pastor trotting toward us, holding out Cynthia’s Bible.
“Oh, uh, thank you, Pastor Mark.” The look on Cynthia’s face was priceless, but I knew it would cost my life to say so.
Pastor Mark looked from my sheepish smile to Cynthia’s scarlet face. “Everything all right?” He gazed past us to the truck. A knowing grin crinkled the corners of his eyes.
“Keys locked inside?”
Neither of us needed to reply. Pastor Mark cleared his throat. “I’ll go call a locksmith.” As our pastor walked away, the shaking of his shoulders confirmed we had again provided him with sermon material.
I tapped a finger on the leather cover of Cynthia’s Bible. “If you hadn’t left this…”
Cynthia cocked her head and batted her eyelashes at me. “We all make mistakes.”
“Hmph!” I said.
Cynthia reached up and pushed my nose. My grin preceded hers as I bent to smack her lips.
Let Pastor Mark turn that into sermon material.
*Scripture Reference Mathew 25:10-12 NKJV
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