Our pastor said something today I had not heard before about oil in the Bible. We were reading the parable of the virgins waiting for the bridegroom in Matthew 25:1-13. They are bridesmaids waiting to escort the groom to collect his bride. Their job is to light the way with their lamps and to dance with the couple as he takes his bride back to his house for a seven day celebration. Five of them don't bring along enough extra oil and so their lamps go out before he arrives. These foolish women miss the celebration because they're not well enough prepared. The other five bridesmaids bring extra oil and so they're ready when the groom arrives. They accompany the couple, dancing, into the wedding banquet. Jesus tells his disciples to be careful and watch because in the same way his second coming will be a surprise and we want to be well prepared.
Since it's the start of Advent, Pastor Hany was saying that we need to be expectant, prepared, and ready for a celebration when Christ comes again. And he said that oil in the Bible often symbolises the Holy Spirit. This is an idea I had not come across before. But he mentioned that when priests or kings were anointed with oil it was a symbol of the Holy Spirit coming on them. (For example, in 1 Samuel 16:13, "So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers, and from that day on the Spirit of the LORD came upon David in power.") So the five bridesmaids who weren't prepared for the groom and his banquet can tell us that we must have enough of the Holy Spirit to live expectantly.
So, Lord, pour out your Spirit as you say (in Joel 2:28-29, "And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people.... on my servants, both men and women"). May I be expectant and prepared for you.