Tonight I sat in the hot tub… since we finally got our “free” hot tub working it has become a place of refuge and worship for me. Staring up at the sky… watching clouds float by and marveling at the stars that burn brightly in the darkness as I listen to preachers, prophets, and psalmists. Tonight, I watched four shooting stars blaze across the sky and fade from sight. It struck me that their lights burn brighter than all those around them, but only for a moment before they fade to nothing. They are striking because they appear suddenly. But the more I thought about it, I came to the conclusion that they are no more striking than the stars that are constant. For those stars are so reliable that we navigate by them. Each has a role to play… each inspires awe at the One who breathed them into existence and named them.
Paul in the letter to the Philippians compares believers to stars set in place to shine… set to flying to burn with hope for weary hearts.
In this season it is easy to forget why we exist. For some of us, our purpose, at times, seems as though it has been co-opted by our frustration with Covid, with policies, mandates, and elections. Instead of shining for Jesus, we take on the dimness of the world around us. The ash of earth… covers over the glowing ember of Christ in us. Others of us easily believe that we’ve fallen out of the sky and have nothing more to shine for… we aren’t worthy. We aren’t as bright… whatever the tapes that play in our minds tell us.
We forget what the LORD our Righteousness has made us to be. The cares, burdens, and frustrations constrict around us… and we forget the freedom given to us through Christ’s victory on the cross. Beloved, we need to be fanned back to flame… to burn brightly for Christ. We need the Holy Spirit to refresh our faith and remind us of our very privileged position. We are in relationship with the Lord of the Universe, the Creator of all things. He, in His love for us, has set us in place to shine brightly for Him – heralds of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Together, like the myriads of stars that fill the night sky, each shining for all to see, our joint testimony to the world is that Jesus Christ is Savior of all - in His life, death, and resurrection He illuminated our hearts with the truth: He is the Lord our Righteousness. May we illumine the world with this Truth. May our lives be dominated by this Truth. May we shine like the stars, together, for His glory.