Quinqué (Exodus 27)  

            “So that a lamp…burn regularly…”

            I still remember my days in Cuba, when I was a bit younger.  I remember the poverty, the hunger and the “false” freedom brought by the Revolution.  I also remember the deceiving political discourses and all the pain and hard work that my mother had to endure.  Oh, I almost forgot, I also remember the numerous blackouts.

            The blackouts were common in my time (I hear that it’s worse now!).  Entire cities were left without electricity for hours or even days at a time.  It was a dangerous time to be on the street, because thieves and other criminals tend to operate better under the cover of darkness.

            In our house, however, there was always light.  No, we were not rich nor communists, but we did have a “quinqué.”  A quinqué was an oil lamp similar to a lantern.  With a good oil supply you can have light for a long time.

            The children of God are spiritual quinqués; at least we are supposed to be.  The oil we have is the best:  The Holy Spirit.  We can be lights in the darkness; we can illuminate the world so they can see Jesus.

            The Scriptures command us not to “quench the Spirit” (I Thess. 5:19).  If we turn off the influence of the Holy Spirit in our lives we might as well be like pagans, who continually live in a state of spiritual blackout.

            Lord, fill us with your Spirit and shine forever in our hearts! We want to shine for you in this dark and sinful age. Help us to be the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14) and to reflect your glory everywhere we go.

            A. G.

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