Stars have a significant role in my story. A fairly early memory combined a lovely visit to Grandad with the first REALLY starry night sky that I noticed. I was amazed and awed. Then some years later, as I stood on the Glynde Boy’s Brigade campsite, I looked up and once again was overcome with the wonder of countless stars: there and then I made a short prayer offering my future to God. “Wherever You want, whatever You want, Lord Jesus.”
As a direct consequence, my life of following Jesus has led to some special places, and I have spent my life with some wonderful people (and a few who sadly have a different description!)
The words in Philippians about “Shining like stars” have always inspired me. Add the words of Daniel 12 and you have a fair idea what ambition a pastor holds: to discover and share wisdom that changes not only my life and character, but the destiny of others who walk the Jesus Way and “shine like stars forever.”
Standing out from a dark background. That’s what stars do (from our perspective).
These delicate wood anemones did the same: the shady woodland floor was brightened by these tiny flowers, and they were the centre of attention. Cameras use this kind of contrast to focus. That’s how nice sharp photos are taken. Without the flowers, without the light, it’s just a dark blur with no distinction. No-one takes photos of complete darkness. Light IS the heart of photography.
Light is also the heart of Christian faith; the “Light of the World” destroys dark simply by existing. Being full of the Light of Christ means we will bring light wherever we go; we shine like stars.
As we live and reflect light, we become life-changers. We share light with those in the dark, and they share light with others, and before you know it there is a brand new galaxy of light-bearers. Go on, seek wisdom and give light away- and drive away the darkness! Shine like stars. Simple, isn’t it!
“Do all you have to do without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be God’s children, blameless, sincere and wholesome, living in a warped and diseased world, and shining there like lights in a dark place. For you hold in your hands the very word of life. Thus can you give me something to be proud of in the day of Christ, for I shall know then that I did not spend my energy in vain. Yes, and if it should happen that my life-blood is, so to speak, poured out upon the sacrifice and offering which your faith means to God, then I can still be very happy, and I can share my happiness with you all. I should like to feel that you could be glad about this too, and could share with me the happiness I speak of.”Philippians 2, J.B. Phillips translation