Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Precious Oil

It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes. Psalm 133:2 NRSV

Usually, folks think this verse is disgusting. Oil on your head? Yuck!

However, we come from a 21st Century/plenty of H20 and AC culture. We are all about getting rid of the oil on our heads (unless you are like me with very dry hair). And the oil on our faces!

But imagine that you don't have air conditioning. There is very little water to spare - you would drink it, not bathe in it. It is near 100 degrees in the shade. What can you do to cool off?

Well, one thing that was (and still is) more plentiful than water in the Middle East is oil. No, not that crude stuff! I'm talking about olive oil. I encourage you to feel some olive oil today. Just take a bottle and put a bit of it in your hand. What does it feel like? Wet? Silky? Cool? A little heavy? Think about what it would be like to put that on your head when you are very hot - say in the middle of a summer in the South. Wouldn't it feel refreshing? A little cool, wet, silky and heavy. It would run down your head onto your face (and your beard if you have one) and then onto your collar or shoulders.

Now take that imagery one step further. We know that Aaron was the first priest. He was ordained by Moses on God's instructions. When Aaron was ordained, Moses took oil and poured it over his head. So, not only was it cool and refreshing, it was also holy and awesome. God's power and responsibility entered into Aaron and his descendants as that oil was poured over his head, running down to his beard and the collar of his robes.

The psalmist speaks of unity between relatives to be like that refreshing yet powerful oil. What a wonderful imagery! Now if we could only make that reality.

God, what are you asking me to do today to create harmony and unity in my family? Guide me, Lord, guide me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

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