GIVE ME OIL IN MY LAMP, a Children’s Hymn Devotion for 20 November 2018 Anno Domini
The Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. 2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: 4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. 6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. 9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. 11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. 12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. 13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.” Matt 25:1-13 (KJV)
Any of us who have attended summer Bible Camp will recall singing this sweet little song many times over. It has connotations of faithful biblical living and services to be instilled in the hearts of youth – a beginning point of the milk-fed Gospel to be followed later in life with meat and bones of Faith. I was unable to discover the author of the lyrics, or the musical score (Sing Hosanna). But this little ditty has been around for many, many years and continues to be used to impart wisdom and understanding around the youthful campfire. It doesn’t do a lot of damage to the adult mind either. It alludes to the Gospel Parable of Jesus in Matthew 25:1-13 quoted at the beginning of this devotion.
GIVE ME OIL IN MY LAMP
1 Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Give me oil in my lamp, I pray.
Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.
Keep me burning till the break of day.
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
sing hosanna to the King of kings!
Sing hosanna, sing hosanna,
sing hosanna to the King!
2 Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing.
Give me love in my heart, I pray.
Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing.
Keep me sharing till the break of day. (Refrain)
3 Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing.
Give me joy in my heart, I pray.
Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing.
Keep me singing till the break of day. (Refrain)
4 Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying.
Give me faith in my heart, I pray.
Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying.
Keep me praying till the break of day. (Refrain)
“1 Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.Give me oil in my lamp, I pray.Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.Keep me burning till the break of day.” Certainly, we must ask for the right fuel to light our lamps. Lamps filled with water will avail nothing – it must be the kind of oil that BURNS. That oil, to the Christian, is the Holy Spirit. He, the Holy Spirit, is like that oil of the widow woman in 1 Kings 17 whose oil and meal never ran out. We need light for our path, and we have no light if we have no Spirit to guide our feet. Our Lamps must not only contain oil for fuel, but be lit with the fire of faith. The break of day comes with the Sun of Righteousness rising for our final victory in the Lord.
“2 Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing.Give me love in my heart, I pray.Give me love in my heart, keep me sharing.Keep me sharing till the break of day.” The legs by which the Holy Spirit moves in our hearts are those of love. Love is the most invincible force known on earth. In fact, Paul tells us that there is one thing that survives death complete, and that is LOVE. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 (KJV) There is only one kind of truly pure love, and that is of God. Love unshared dies in the vessel – we must give it out and see how wonderfully it replenishes itself.
“3 Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing.Give me joy in my heart, I pray.Give me joy in my heart, keep me singing.Keep me singing till the break of day.” One characteristic that distinguishes the Christian from the common of humanity is JOY expressed under every hardship and trial. This mystifies the world, and they cannot comprehend it. Joy comes through love and prayer. One language of joy is that of song. In my most sorrowful moments, I may sing an old hymn of the Church and suddenly, even without realizing it, find myself as happy as can be in a personal revival of the soul. I never see tears in the eye of the singer of hymns unless they are formed in joy.
. “4 Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying.Give me faith in my heart, I pray.Give me faith in my heart, keep me praying.Keep me praying till the break of day.” Though a child’s song, there is strong doctrinal perspective expressed. Faith is a gift of grace from God. It is the engendering nurture of the Holy Spirit that draws us ever closer to our Lord and inspires our Godly actions and thoughts. Faith is given by God. He sustains our physical being as well as our spiritual souls. We do not dictate the rate our hearts beat any more than we, through our own good intentions, cause our faith to build.
The Light of Christ is a shared Light from Him. If our lamps are extinguished by winds of doubt, we may share a light from another; however, the original fire comes from God. It is good that our young children are taught the beginning principles of the Gospel through song; and we as adults also benefit in the same way from the singing of the biblical and classical hymns of the Church.
Rudyard Kipling drew heavily on the written style of Aladdin in his work, Conundrums of the
Workshop. Kipling included a chapter entitled, New Lamps for Old. In the Arabian folk-tale, “Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp”, a poor boy discovers a magic lamp, which brings him riches. A wicked sorcerer steals the lamp, by offering “New Lamps for Old” to Aladdin’s servant, a poor bargain since the old one was priceless; hence Kipling’s title. Aladdin succeeds in slaying the sorcerer and recovering the lamp, so all ends well for him.
Kipling was a classicist who did not relish change simply for the sake of change. There are enduring values of great gravity that should be maintained in society, but the modern mind, in its unbelievable arrogance, is often eager to throw off the wisdom of the ancients of thousands of years for the irrational whims of a single generation. We need to remember that all energy from Creation is a product of our sun. It was the first fire, and we must not trade off our true fires for false lights that do not endure.
“Prenez en Gré”
In Christ Alone
in TRINITY SEASON
† Jerry L. Ogles , D.D.
Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide & Chancellor, Faith Theological Seminary
“Metus improbo compescit, non clementia.” – Syrus, MAXIMS: Fear, not kindness, restrains the wicked!
Archbishop Thomas Cranmer – HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“If there were any word of God beside the Scripture, we could never be certain of God’s Word; and if we be uncertain of God’s Word, the devil might bring in among us a new word, a new doctrine, a new faith, a new church, a new god, yea himself to be a god. If the Church and the Christian faith did not stay itself upon the Word of God certain, as upon a sure and strong foundation, no man could know whether he had a right faith, and whether he were in the true Church of Christ, or a synagogue of Satan.”
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