Light, in the early days was a full time job. Our sisters learned to tend the flame, create light and contain fire all in a evening’s work. The jars were of all shapes and size, mostly a crudely fashioned jar or pot. Some large, to light the expanse of the dinner table where the men ate first and the children finished up the leftovers. Others, lit the work top where the woman of the house kneaded the bread for tomorrow’s breakfast.
Truth be told, not much thought went into the dry cracked jar of clay. Much more important was the light spilling over the rim and through the cracks that allowed our first sisters work their way around the kitchen, baking bread, dressing meat, all with a chubby smiling baby on the hip.
The jar was insignificant. Cheaply made. A vessel for light and rightly so. For who had time to stop and inspect, admire and examine the jar? Utility is desired, not beauty. This woman, with her long black hair up in a braid quiets the children and feeds the man and his brothers by the light of the jar. It is the light that allows her to work long past bedtime. It is the light that quiets scared little ones and helps her guide them back to bed. It is the light that bathes her and the man in a warm glow as he tells her of his day and she nurses the baby and listens. The sound of his voice washes over her and she forgets about the long day of tending fire and carrying water. She will do it all again tomorrow, but for now, in the fire light that dances from clay jar there on the table, she lets herself enjoy the evening.
The Light calms. The Light makes the small clay huddle into a home. The Light creates a sense of peace to this work weary family. In the fire light, that licks at the top of these earthen jars, the woman knows that Yahweh has blessed her and she closes her eye as the baby nurses and the man now quietly snores beside her.
And the clay jar? It has cracks and uneven edges. If treated carelessly, it will break into a hundred pieces. No one stops and looks at the jar. They just enjoy the Light. As they should. We are the jars of clay. He is The Light. Let your little light shine………