Two parables, here: The Ten Bridesmaids and The Talents. Both continue the theme of the coming Kingdom of God and, in particular, those who will be its citizens: not those who have failed to prepare, but those who, beforehand, gathered the oil for their lamps and those who have invested well. Those who enter the Kingdom are those who have loved the Lord and who have lived for him. To these, and only these, the King will say, “”Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me’” (Matthew 25:34-36). We are to be about our Lord’s work. And we work, not in order to gain his favor, but because we love him and desire to do his will.
To the work! to the work! we are servants of God,
Let us follow the path that our Master has trod;
With the balm of His counsel our strength to renew,
Let us do with our might what our hands find to do.
Toiling on, toiling on,
Toiling on, toiling on:
Let us hope, let us watch,
And labor till the Master comes. -- Fanny Crosby (19th century)