Twenty-second Sunday of Pentecost

I Will Search Jerusalem with Lamps

Zephaniah 1: 12

There was no electricity in Jesus' day, and there was no form of public lighting. Except for starlight and moonlight on cloudless nights, Jerusalem was pitch black at night, and outdoors was a very scary place to be.

People who had to be outdoors at night for emergencies would carry torches (pitch burning on a tall pole) or lanterns and lamps.

The people of Jerusalem rarely used candles, although they did have them. They usually filled earthenware lamps with olive oil and used flax (linen) for wicks. Even on the altar in the Temple, they used oil-burning lamps instead of the candles we use today.

Making candles is hard work, and in Europe and America they are made from tallow, an animal fat that comes from cattle. Lamps were cheaper to make and to use in Jerusalem.

Cut 8-inch squares of dark purple or dark blue card stock. Mark them off into four sections, and draw a different scene of Jerusalem at night in each section.

Cut a 2-inch square of yellow card stock for each child, and again, mark four equal sections. Draw a lamp, torch, lantern, or candle in each section.

Place the yellow square in the center of the purple square and fasten with a paper brad.

Then spin the lamps gently, searching Jerusalem quarter by quarter.

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