October 27, 2021
20 “Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning. 21 In the tent of meeting, outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law, Aaron and his sons are to keep the lamps burning before the Lord from evening till morning. This is to be a lasting ordinance among the Israelites for the generations to come.
In the beginning, God creates all things, and on that first day he brings light. From the beginning of time, light is seen as symbolizing a few things. Light is goodness, while darkness is evil. Light is God’s presence, darkness is the absence of God’s presence. Light is the truth and darkness is lies. Light is wisdom and darkness is ignorance.
God has the people set up this tabernacle with lights that burn at all times. Lights burn to show that God is always active and always with them, night and day. This is why the Jewish people celebrate Hannukah for all these centuries. The miracle of the lights burning to show the presence of God with them, miraculously burning longer than the oil should have lasted.
These pieces of the tabernacle, and later the temple, show more than just some details of the building. They show God’s presence and grace among the people. These are not boring details to read through quickly and say we have read this section of the Bible. These texts show that God was with the people then and with us now.
I am reminded of the front of the church in Williamsburg, ON. After they rebuilt they put the same words at the front of the sanctuary that had been there as far back as anyone remembers, that I have been able to talk to. Psalm 119.105 “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” God brings light and truth to us. God brings his presence to us. God is with us always.
Song – Thy Word
Lord our God, you light the way before us. Even when we don’t know where we are headed, you lead us well. Take us through our days of trouble into the future that you have laid out for us. Help us to trust in your grace and presence always. Amen.