If Jesus came today would he find us ready to open the door for him, lamps trimmed and burning? Would he find us dipped into the presence of God or dipped out of the presence of God? We’re hoping that he would find us faithful, aren’t we? Trimmed and Burning…
1 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually. 3 Outside the curtain that shields the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, Aaron is to tend the lamps before the Lord from evening till morning, continually. This is to be a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. 4 The lamps on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord must be tended continually.
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, 36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. 37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. 38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.
Israel had to keep lamps burning with clear olive oil continually in the tent of meeting 24-7-365. All the time. This was a lasting ordinance – a permanent fixture – of their worship of God. Do you keep anything going like that in your life? First of all, we would never leave a candle or an oil lamp burning in our homes 24 hours a day because of the risk of fire when we sleep, right? Too risky.
And when it comes to worship, we congregate together once or twice a week to focus on worship. It doesn’t continue all day every day. We might try to keep God in our thoughts as we go through the day, yet even the best of us would find ourselves dipping in and out of the presence of God.
When Jesus was teaching his followers about his second coming, he spoke of keeping our lamps burning. The idea was immortalized in the old spiritual song, Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning. It’s a classic. Are we ready? Are we ready for the Lord to come again?
If Jesus came today would he find us ready to open the door for him, lamps trimmed and burning? Would he find us dipped into the presence of God or dipped out of the presence of God? We’re hoping that he would find us faithful, aren’t we? Yet if we bob and weave so much that we spend significant time on worldly pursuits, we are taking our chances aren’t we?
When Jesus finds us with lamps trimmed and burning, his story teaches us that he will dress himself to serve and will wait on us as we recline in his presence. We get the image of the Last Supper in which Jesus served his followers by washing their feet. God wants to minister to his people, and when he comes into our midst, he is looking for the ready and prepared.
God is looking for us to have the lamp burning for him. Check your lamp today. Oil level? Wick? Spark?