Reflection for Friday 26 March 2021
Reading : Numbers 4: 16
OIL FOR WORSHIP
“Eleazar son of Aaron the priest shall have charge of the oil for the light, the fragrant incense............, and the anointing oil.”
Oil has had role in worship since biblical times.
Oil for worship kept the light burning in the temple. Oil in worship anoints the people for service. Oil for worship makes the light visible to worshiper and outsiders alike. Oil for worship is precious and vital, and so in Scripture one person is given the role of keeper.
This way accountability can be tracked, bottles replenished, reserves kept.
The role of keeper of the oil was an important one, one of privilege and status.
One of the many memorable experiences I had on the Camino Santiago was seeing the huge incense burners swung over the heads of worshipers in the Cathedral at Santiago.
It is a truly breathtaking sight, and every visitor to the cathedral hopes to be one of the lucky ones to see the sight.
I have been lucky to see it on two occasions.
The sensor is manned by eight men who lift it up on ropes.
As the sensor begins to swing the fragrance of incense begins to fill the whole of the space, and it lingers for days afterwards.
It was originally used to clean the air after pilgrims arrived in the Cathedral, it was also used in the times of the plague and other epidemics to combat infection.
The most important use of sensors in worship is to aid prayer and we find it present in churches large and small around the world, used in healing and ordination services, to heal and bless and to commission for service.
POINTS TO PONDER
WHAT ITEMS DO YOU CONSIDER CRUCIAL FOR WORSHIP?
WATER? BREAD? WINE?
A PIANO, ORGAN, BIBLE?
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THEY WERE NOT THERE ONE SUNDAY?
DOES YOUR CONGREGATION USE OIL IN WORSHIP?
Lord Jesus, we thank you for all the instances of oil being used in worship.
We praise you for its healing properties.
Please anoint us this day in your service by your Holy Spirit, that we may be agents of healing in our land.