Festival time: Daily devotion

A marriage can’t be sustained just by celebrating anniversaries. Similarly, our relationship with God must find expression in the humdrum routine of our daily lives as well as on special occasions. There were two mundane but essential duties that the Jewish priests had to carry out on a regular basis: keeping the lights burning on the golden lampstand, and maintaining a supply of bread on the sacred table (Leviticus 24:1-9).

Once a week, on the Sabbath, twelve fresh loaves of unleavened bread were to be laid out on the table within the Tabernacle. (The old ones were eaten by the priests, as representatives of the people). This symbolised the spiritual sustenance and nourishment that God’s people receive from His word (Deuteronomy 8:3). And in the same way, we need to feed our souls regularly on Jesus. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live for ever.” (John 6:51)

Every day, the priests would top up the oil (using only the very best quality olive oil!) and trim the wicks of the lamps. However, human labour would prove to be insufficient for the task of shining God’s light into the world; there were times when the lamps were allowed to go out (I Samuel 3:3). This is why we need to rely on the power of God’s Spirit (Zechariah 4:2,3). Yet it is still our responsibility to maintain the flame of the Spirit burning within us (I Thessalonians 5:19). “Be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18) – not just on one occasion but continually, every day…

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