The Clay Oil Lamp and His Church
Jesus used the lamp to illustrate how Christians should live out their faith: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden, neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and praise your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:14) The metaphors Jesus used are so vivid.
At Zak’s Jerusalem Gifts you can purchase clay oil lamps exactly like the lamps Jesus was referring to. These lamps are replicas of Herodian lamps from the time Jesus was alive that have been found in archaeological sites around Israel. They are a meaningful gift directly from Jerusalem for Christians of all ages.
In Biblical times, people used lamps as a source of light in the darkness because they didn’t have electricity or flashlights. Although nowadays we have more modern ways of lighting our surroundings, giving a replica oil lamp from Zak’s Jerusalem Gifts to a friend or family member is an encouraging reminder for them of the true source of light in this dark world. Each of us goes through times in our lives when we feel as though we’re in the darkness, lost and unable to see the path in front of us. During these times we can look to God for light and guidance. As the psalmist reminded us, God’s word is a lamp to our feet and light for our path.
Many Bible verses place symbolic significance on light and lamps. Jesus described how the kingdom of heaven will come like a wedding feast. He told about ten virgins—five foolish and five wise. They went out to meet the bridegroom with their lamps but the foolish ones did not take any extra oil with them. The bridegroom took longer than they expected to come and they all fell asleep. At midnight when the bridegroom arrived, the foolish virgins had no more oil left in their lamps. They asked the wise virgins to give them some. The wise virgins told them they didn’t have enough to share and sent the foolish virgins out to buy themselves more oil. By the time the foolish virgins came back, the feast had already started and it was too late for them to come in. “Therefore,” Jesus said, “keep watch because you do not know the day or the hour.”
We all want to be like the wise virgins, prepared for the bridegroom and ready to enter the wedding feast. Lighting a lamp just like the ones the wise virgins used is a powerful affirmation of our desire to be ready for Christ’s coming. The replica oil lamps burn as beautifully as they would have 2000 years ago. When you purchase them, you have many options for oil to keep them lit, including olive oil from Galilee. Lighting these lamps is a chance to say “Maranatha, come Lord Jesus.”
An oil lamp will illuminate your home, or the home of any of your friends or family members you decide to give one to. It will replace darkness with light and uncertainty with comfort and assurance. Not only will it inspire and embolden fellow Christians, it will also help to remind them and you of how important it is to be the light of the world. Each of us will shine more brightly.
Because of this inspiration, light from the whole Christian church will become stronger and more powerful, able to draw more people who have not yet heard about Jesus to discover the source of this light. Recently the world has faced pandemics, wars and natural disasters. As believers, we have more opportunities than ever to proclaim God’s salvation, keep oil in our lamps, and prepare ourselves for God’s kingdom, the wedding feast.