Tales from the Great Adventure

a journal of living-like-we-mean-it, by Derek Maul

17. Shine like stars in the sky

17. Shine like stars in the sky

Shooting stars always thrill me, much like seeing dolphins play in the surf, or catching a glimpse of a perfect rainbow. It’s like they represent a connecting point between me – standing on a fixed piece of terra firma – and whatever lies “beyond.” As if, rather than a chunk of space debris burning up as if falls into Earth’s atmosphere, the trace of light in the sky is a magical talisman that has broken into time and space from eternity, or some other world.

WHAT IS A STAR? According to the dictionary, a star is defined as “a fixed luminous point in the night sky that is a large, remote incandescent body like the sun.” A star is also, “a famous or exceptionally talented performer in the world of entertainment or sports.”

IMG_6526During Advent – these four weeks of preparation and expectation, leading up to Christmas – the star is one of our most prominent and enduring symbols. Probably one of the top three:

  • Everything revolves around the Nativity;
  • it’s tough to tell the story without angels;
  • and there’s absolutely gotta be a star.

In our house, of course, there are quite a few.

One of my favorite Bible passages takes the star ideal and applies it to our day-to-day lives as people of faith. If we are wise, like the Magi, then we too will follow the star and pay our homage to Jesus; and – if we are also faithful – we are called to “shine like stars in the sky.”

Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. – Philippians 2:15-16

We are called to live faith out loud, but not in an obnoxious “shine the flashlight in someone’s face” manner. Instead, we are called to simply hold firmly – to hold fast – to the word of life. Then, in so doing, we will shine like stars.

IMG_6523-002Stars are not floodlights, but they do illuminate the path; stars don’t blaze the way, they point the way; stars are the map, and they shed enough light, but not so much light that the world around becomes impossible to see.

When I see the stars around our home during Advent, I am reminded to follow them to the manger; and I am also invited to be a star, and to shine with integrity in a world that knows too much of darkness and not enough about the word of life.

Peace – DEREK

Below – gallery of Advent images, and links to the corresponding posts:


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