The parable of the five wise and five foolish
virgins - modern interpretation considering backing up your computer
(useful when year 11 are in the midst of coursework)
1. I will begin by reading one of
the parables of Jesus taken from the Gospel according to Matthew,
2. Ten maidens took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom.
Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the
foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took
flasks of oil with their lamps.
As the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
However, at midnight there was a cry, "Behold, the bridegroom!
Come out to meet him." Then all those maidens rose and trimmed
their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, "Give us some of
your oil, for our lamps are going out."
But the wise replied, "But there will not be enough for us and you; go
rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves."
And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were
ready went in with him to the marriage feast; and the door was
Later the other maidens returned saying, "Lord, lord, open to us."
But he replied, "Truly, I say to you, I do not know you."
3. When we hear this story most of us think, "How foolish can people
get? It is obvious that the groom might be delayed and so the lamps are
going to need oil." But then most of us have 20/20 hindsight.
4. I would like you all to be honest, teachers as well, while we
consider a modern-day version of this parable:
Please raise you hands if you use a computer at home for anything to do
with school. (Most)
Now keep your hands
up if you have ever written a piece of homework or coursework on your
computer at home. (Good, I'm glad to see that we are using them.)
Now put your hands up if you have ever lost such a piece of work and
blamed it on the computer. (At this point, when writing this assembly,
I hit save on my computer and the program crashed.)
Let us see how many of your teachers have ever had an excuse along the
lines of, "It's on my computer at home, but it disappeared." (I thought
5. Now for the crunch - we've turned up at the wedding, we've got our
lamps, but have we got any oil? Now put your hand up if you
regularly do a backup on your computer. Keep your hands up if you then
keep these somewhere separate from the computer. Oh dear, poor
If anyone would like advice on backing up
their home computer do ask during ICT lessons or lunchtimes in the ICT
6. So, in life you need to be prepared, whether it is
to back up your computer before it finally dies, or to be ready for the
second coming of Jesus.
Let us pray:
We stand before you in the midst of the confusion and complexities of
life. Our futures sometimes seem distant and unknown. Give
us, O Lord, the light to see the path you set before us. Grant us
the courage to follow your way, that through the gifts and talents you
have given us, we may bring your life and your love to others. We
ask this through Jesus, your Son.