The underlying dynamics that led to the revelation of miracles centuries ago are still, very much, present. During Hanukkah and the nativity of Messiah, people were facing the drama of the day. In Jerusalem, the priests occupied with the task of rededicating the Holy Temple. Generations later, in Bethlehem, shepherds keeping their sheep amidst an influx of people.
Both the priests and the shepherds had to look past their circumstance and say, “Look what we’ve found!” The priests: oil. The shepherds: a child. In both cases, light – one light pointing to the other. The priests and shepherds, the high and low of that society, were inspired by heaven to look beyond their immediate concerns: look past the rubble of rebuilding to a cruse of oil; and past their sheep to the scene of birth. Both had to look to the miracle present in the circumstance.
As we meditate on this season, with some celebrating light and other celebrating the light, we, as did the priests and shepherds, must look past our circumstances that seem to accompany our reason for joy: family and financial struggles, loneliness, unavoidable disappointment, etc., to the miracle present.
It is hard to look past the debris of mercantilism, in the historic sense, that this season has become to a darkened world, yet beneath the boxes, paper and debt, there is a miracle: light – light overcoming darkness. Whether the “miracle of a cruse of oil,” נֵס פַּךְ הַשֶּׁמֶן, or the miracle of “For unto us a child is born,” כִּי-יֶלֶד יֻלַּד-לָנוּ (Isa. 9:5), miracles always have humble, vulnerable beginnings. They make us look, beyond ourselves, beyond our circumstance, to heaven, not high above us, but His presence right before us.
My prayer for us in this season, is that we might be someone’s light beneath the debris of life and circumstance. May we be the face of a miracle sent by heaven to say: “Emmanuel – God is with us … still!”
Our hope is not found in a light, but the Light, Emmanuel, the Anointed One, the Messiah. The cruse of oil may have been buried. The birth may have been in a makeshift dwelling. Still, the question remains: what will we do with so great a gift even in the midst of uncertainty? Shine, even in the most unlikely of places.
Praying a meaningful, I mean, miraculous season for you, it has meaning enough already.
Be well. Shalom.
One thought on “Priests, Shepherds, Oil, and the Child”
So beautiful. Light of the World wants us to burn brightly so others can see Jesus/Yeshua in us. Our walk is staying close to our Prince of Peace daily. Blessings for your miracle as well. Jesus is with us Rabbi.
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