Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tending the Lamp

Afghanistan, the Pandemic, and that terrible storm Ida have occupied our thoughts and prayers, and because of them I brought a heavy heart to my daily Bible reading.

I sank a little further when I saw what it was for the day—several chapters in Leviticus. Excuse my sarcasm, but there’s nothing like reading about defiling skin diseases or bodily discharges to lift one’s spirits. But on the other hand, it sure reminds us of all that Jesus has done for us. Across the top of several pages in Leviticus, I’ve written in large print, “Thank you for Jesus,” because his sacrifice saved us from ritual sacrifices and a life of rules and regulations. 

God knows what we need, and He knew this would be my reading on this day, so more than ever I searched for what He might want to speak through his Word. 

I found it in Leviticus 24:4. In the Lord’s instructions to Moses about the tent of meeting, one of them was, “The lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord must be tended continually.”

In a day of so much happening in the world in addition to our own personal heartaches, it’s important to keep our lamps burning—to allow God by the power of His spirit to as in the words of the old gospel song, “Keep us burning to till the break of day.” We don’t want to be like the virgins awaiting the bridegroom in Matthew 25 who ran out of oil before the bridegroom’s arrival.

And yes, I realize I wrote about light last week. Let's call this part two.

When heartaches roll in, it’s easy to let go of tending our lamps though Bible study, worship, prayer, and meeting together. But these things are essential to keeping our radiance for Christ. I’m struck by the word “continually” in the Leviticus passage. This is not an on and off again situation, it calls for being intentional.

One of the commentaries I read on this verse noted that this lamp was the only light in the tent by which the priests could carry out their tasks. The light of Jesus is the only light that can change this ragged planet. He said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). We need to keep our lamps burning because we may find ourselves in situations where we are the only ones who gleam with the light of Christ in a dark place. Jesus also said in Matthew 5:16, “. . . let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

So, let’s tend our lamps and keep them blazing. Even when the news seems mostly bad, even when our hearts break for those in difficult circumstances, and even when there doesn’t seem to be many answers. There is still Jesus. He is and will always be the light of the world.

Books here.   

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