When I was at school, woodwork and metalwork were only ever the domain of the boys, as sewing and cooking were only the domain of the girls. So my skills at woodwork, and metalwork are non-existent. As with yesterday’s reflection, the skills in these two areas must have been amazing. We have described the dimensions and work of the ark itself, including ways by which it could be transported from place to place, an atonement cover, with its decorative images of heavenly beings, the table that it would sit upon, as well as all the gold plates dishes and bowls to be used in the sacrificial offerings that would be made to allow the people of God to meet with the God they worshipped. As well as this, the lampstand was made of pure gold, with 7 lamps, and the Altar of incense, and the sacred anointing oil and pure fragrant incense, made by another artistic Chemist of his day-we are told ‘the work of a perfumer.’
The beauty of the creative workmanship, the detail of what is to be developed, its size, what it is made of, how it is to be fashioned; all point us beyond their symbolic beauty to the one who commissioned the work, and the one who prepared the people with the talent to do exactly what was intended. But for today, I want to look at just one of the pieces commissioned by the Lord, and made through his creative gifting: the lampstand.
In Revelation we read of the lampstand in each of the seven churches that Jesus speaks to in this vision of John. The lampstand seems to represent the light of Christ, continued on, in the people of God, gifted through the Holy Spirit, to continue the mission of God to reach the ends of the earth. By then, those, who had first heard the call of faith in Jesus Christ and had begun the work in each of these places, were now dead, or frail and elderly. The lamp stand is now in the care of those who come after, and it is their light which now burns, or falters.
The Lord continues to give us a commission of what will reveal his glory to the world, and he still equips us with everything we need to perfectly complete every last detail of what he has planned. The lampstand is now in our care, for our time, in this place. Take time today to reflect on what part in his wonderful plan you see his is calling you to play, and how he has gifted you with all you need to complete it, and thank God for his partnership and grace.