book excerpt

“There is no doubt that oil brings comfort and convenience to our lives today. However, our over-dependence on it has produced a way of living in which we are less dependent on one another and our relationship with creation is broken. Our energy addicted lifestyles provide so many options and ways to be busy that we often have little time for God – arguably making our oil-dependence a form of idolatry. Jesus’ parable of the wise and foolish virgins in Matthew chapter 25 has a micro-story of oil depletion as its theme – the foolish characters used up all their lamp-oil and were distracted when they should have been ready for the bridegroom’s arrival. It’s not difficult to extract from this story a relevant principle about our need to husband scarce resources carefully. Another Biblical example of planning ahead and conserving supplies is the story of Joseph in Genesis chapter 40-45. Rescued from prison because of his ability to interpret dreams, he is put in charge of Egypt’s efforts to store up grain in seven good years, preparing ahead for the seven years of famine. In our analysis of the world today, we are still enjoying the years of plenty in an oil-fuelled bubble of prosperity. Are we ready to face the lean years to come?”

Chapter 2. No oil in the lamp”.

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