“At midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him” (Matt 25:5).
The parable of the wise and foolish bridesmaids describes the expectation of the early church for the return of Jesus, which many believed was imminent. Readiness meant keeping the light of faith strong. But, as the years passed, faith in the second coming waned, and the Gospel writers shifted their focus from an immediate return to the understanding that the risen Jesus was already present with the church through the Holy Spirit, working within history.