Keep your lamps burning

Light is necessary for life and growth. We are introduced to light in the biblical account of creation.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.  (Genesis 1:3-5 ESV)

Of Jesus, the Gospel of John says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4 ESV).

David spoke of meditating on God during the watches of the night (Psalm 63:6). He watched his sheep by night, but most work was not done in the night prior to the introduction of electric power. We used one Aladdin lamp and a few kerosene lamps in our home in the rural South until I was about 8 or 10 years old. Then we began to use a single electric bulb in a room when we needed to be in the room.

Jesus said,

We must work the works of of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work.  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:4-5 ESV).

Herodian period lamp burning. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

Herodian period lamp from the time of Jesus. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.

The photo above is one of the Herodian period lamps I have purchased in the Bible lands over the past 44 years. Two or three times I have used some olive oil (or Wesson oil, or a small piece of a candle) to show how much light the lamp gives.

In the parable of the watchful slaves Jesus said,

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning,  and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks. (Luke 12:35-36 ESV)

The Apostle Paul commanded the saints at Philippi to shine as lights in the world.

Do all things without grumbling or questioning,  that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, (Philippians 2:14-15 ESV)

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