Readings:  Leviticus 24:1-23 and Luke 12:54-13:17

Leviticus 24:1-4:   The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil from beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly.  Outside the veil of the testimony, in the tent of meeting, Aaron shall arrange it from evening to morning before the LORD regularly.  It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations.   He shall arrange the lamps on the lampstand of pure gold before the LORD regularly.”

Luke 12: 54-56:  [Jesus] also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens.  And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens.   You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”

 

“Spiritual Weather Forecasting”

With the aid of Doppler Radar, we are able to pinpoint where threatening and damaging storms may strike.  Along with storm chasers, the weather service can refine their equipment and forecast capabilities to protect citizens from the effects of damaging storms. Yes, the storms may come, but people are given advanced warning to take shelter and save lives.

Too bad we don’t have a radar system like this for our spiritual climate.  Or do we?  We would like it if a buzzer or alarm would indicate that something we see is sinful.   Additionally we would love it if an angel would immediately shout into our ears that what we are hearing is harmful to our neighbor.   We would prefer flashing warning lights whenever we are tempted, just like the light in the refrigerator turns on when we try to sneak a treat during the night when we’re on a strict diet.  

I recently had to install a new kitchen faucet.  Now, many people know I hate to do plumbing.  Oh, it’s not the fact that you have to make three trips to the hardware store once you get started.  That’s part of the ‘warm up exercises’ of this strange sporting event.  It’s those unexpected surprises.  The two service shut-off valves were corroded, stuck in the open position.  The secondary valve which serves that line was also broken, thus another plumbing project in the future.  Thankfully the valve by the meter did work, and I was able, after much grunting and groaning, get the faucet replaced, along with the two service valves.  And, no leaks!  

But there were the instructions to read upon unpacking the new faucet.  Now, I’m not a plumber by trade, nor do I play one on TV or YouTube, but with 10 years experience in a sewage treatment plant, I do know things about plumbing that most homeowners do not know.  But I still review the instructions.  For me, this faucet is new.  The manufacturer may have designed something that is an improvement over the previous models I’ve installed.  The instructions warn me of those changes.

The same with God’s Word.  Every day is a new day.  It’s an improvement over yesterday’s model.  That’s how God works.  The gardener asked for one more season to fertilize and improve that one tree.  If after one more year there was no product, out it would go.  There was that season of grace given that tree. 

We’re given that season of grace too!  God’s word shines on us daily and ‘fertilizes’ us.  Just as Aaron was instructed to keep the lamps on the lampstand burning and shining in a proper way, so the Word of God is the light that shines in our life.  But there’s more!

In the Tabernacle, the lampstand was on the left side as you entered, and on the right hand side was the table of showbread.  Each day a new set of 12 loaves would be placed there.  The light from the lampstand would cast beams of light (that was aided by the shiny reflectors of pure gold from the lampstand) across the room to ‘show’ the ‘bread’ on that table.  

Now, you’re thinking … “Where’s Jesus in this?”  He’s not only the Light of the world, but He is also the Bread of life!  The light shines on the bread.  The Word shines on Jesus.  

Your “Spiritual Forecast” for today:  Sunny skies!  God’s Word is open to you letting you see Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of your faith!  He is your light and salvation!  He also disperses the clouds of doom from your life!

Let us pray:  O Jesus, Lord of the Sabbath, rescue us from our hypocrisy, which keeps us from seeing You as the center of all Scripture and acknowledging the present time as the time of salvation.  Call us to repent of our self-righteousness so that we might look to You alone as the source of our life.  Shine Your healing presence on those in the darkness of illness and disease, and grant courage and skill to those who treat them.  Defend us all from the fear of our enemies, that we may abide in peace and hope; for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.


Our Father…

The Lord bless us, defend us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.  Amen.