Tuesday, June 20, 2006

From the Roman period

While Jackie and I were in Israel, I purchased several olive oil lamps, most of which were reproductions of the kind of lamps used in the days of Jesus. We first saw them in Nazareth at the exhibit on the daily life of Jesus. They gave us two round lamps there. Throughout Israel, you could pick up some similar lamps for a few dollars. We found the best price in Bethlehem. An antiquities dealer, however, had one that dated from the Roman period (63 BC to 325 AD). Since it was priced reasonably, I decided to buy one. I wanted something I could say was from the time of Christ and found in the Holy Land. The pattern on this lamp identified it as being from that era.

They put a lesser quality of olive oil in the reserve and put a piece of cloth in the spout. A full lamp could burn for about four hours and provided an amount of light that was somewhere between a candle and a lantern.

As a preacher of the gospel, I thought about Jesus being the light of the world. I also recognized that I was to be a light to the world. I was not to put my light under a basket but on a lampstand that it may give light to all. I was to let my light so shine that men may see good works and glorify the Father in heaven.

My sweet daughter, Tara, is preparing a case to put this lamp in. Eventually, you will find it displayed in my office to remind me always to take the light to the world.

May the light of God bless your life today.


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