Shine like the Stars
There are many fantistic benefits of being out in the open air in the evening sitting around a campfire. One of those is being able to see the stars on a clear cloudless night. It’s one of natures breath taking experiences which is free of charge and there for all to see. Obviously if you live where light polution is a problem then the experience can be somewhat dampened.
I’m fortuate to live in the rural country side where the night sky is amazing to watch . I wil freely admit sometimes I stand in my back garden and look up into the night sky and look to see if I can spot a few common constalations. Having been a boy scout I have a limited knowledge of a few. Looking for the plough or big dipper as some may call it, Orion and his belt , the North star, Great Bear and Little bear. Then there are the offical names of Ursa Major and Ursa Minor , Polaris (the North star
On occassions my wife, Sarah, and I go out for a walk late into the evening, taking the dimmly lit path up to our local C of E church St Marys on the hill. From there you can see a great expanse of the night sky and do a bit of star spotting. It always amazes me that these stars have been in these positions ever since the world was created . I’m always reminded of a little statement that is tucked away in the narative of the creation of the world. In Genesis Chapter 1 verse 16. we read ” He (that is God) also made the stars. “
Paul in his letter to the church at Philippi exalts the new christians to “shine like stars in the sky” Phillippians Ch 2 v 15.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16 NIVUK
This is not just to be a sun beam, a child like playful gesture but a significant lifestyle. It was an exaltation in response to a culture of grumbling and complaining. Paul urged his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ to become blameless and pure in their conduct while surrounded by a warped and crooked generation. By holding firm to the word of life, the result would be their lives would be a beacon to the world.
If you are anything like me it is all so easy to grumble or complain , and let our conversation degenerate into that usual typical topic of negative talk about what is wrong around us , What’s not working and making life difficult. Paul here is encouraging christians to work out their salvation in the culture in which we live. The challenge then is to turn the tide and to see the positive things in life , such as the good in people.
But how do we turn that tide when it is so common place to complain,. Paul’s answer is to hold firm to the word of life. and to do this as you see the day approaching.
One prctical way to make inroads into this would be to see and make note of where you have the opportunity to discuss things around you and how you have the opportunity to interact with others. This may be at work or as you arrive back at home after a day at work. For me this would be at work where our team have a daily virtual team meeting . The first few minutes is a time to catch up on life with fellow colleagues. The opportunity to grumble and complain is oh so easy . When I get home from work again its easy to unwind and talk of all the trouble and problems at work and spend a good few minutes telling Sarah all the problems I’ve had during the day caused by other peoples failings.
Maybe a goal would be to try to go a whole week with only saying positive comments of others. Making that effort to speak encouraging words and conversations that uplift people and praising the good we see around us. As a start there is so much we can see in creation around us. Tell your friends and family what you have seen and how it reminds you of out creator God.