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God told Moses to have the people bring money as a response to having their lives ransomed in the Exodus. However, the priceless blood of Jesus has truly redeemed us and ransomed us from death.
The barrenness of the desert surroundings are set in marked contrast with the materials that are to become the sacred articles of the wilderness tabernacle. Three of them are the gifts of the Magi to Jesus. As sense of the sacred is heightened by having the ingredients for anointing oil and incense be used for these purposes only. The sense of smell, the most powerful sense that links us to memory, reminds the people of the sacred presence of God.
What are the articles in your life that you employ only for the service and worship of God? Do you keep Sabbath time?
Ransomed by the blood of Christ 30:16
Anointed with sacred oil 30:25
Incense rising from my heart 30:34
Pausing to keep Sabbath time 31:12
Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.
The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.