Christmas star? or interrogation floodlight?


After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! Matthew 2:9-10

Rebekah and I don’t deliberately “theme” our Christmas decorations – other than, always, pointing to the birth of Christ. But each year something seems to come into clear focus to the extent that it causes us to take notice. This year it is the star.

IMG_4436Interestingly, that was also the gift Rebekah shared with the outgoing deacons at Thursday evening’s meeting/party. She always recognizes people’s service when they rotate off the board. Last year she presented the pax et bonum (“peace and blessings”) tiles she found for them in Assisi; this year she went on a search for stars.

“Let your light shine before others,” she told the deacons, “that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

CALLED TO SHINE: I’ve been thinking about the kind of light we’re called to be, and I’m glad Rebekah chose stars rather than floodlights.

Some people want to be a floodlight for Jesus, or the kind of blinding light that’s shoved into people’s faces during an interrogation.

IMG_4431But stars don’t do that; stars help us to navigate, stars are often just pinpricks of light, stars have always served this world by simply showing people the way.

Now sometimes God will show up with a light that’ll knock you off your horse (Paul on the road to Damascus), then there was the way Jesus’ face “shone like the sun” in the transfiguration (Matthew 17); but by and large the kind of light we’re called to be as disciples is more like the Star of Bethlehem, the one that showed people the way, the light that invited them to come to Jesus.

This week – the week that’s marked “Peace” in the Advent calendar – wouldn’t it be a phenomenal blessing if we could all shine with the kind of integrity, and peace, and love, that served as an invitation for others to follow us to Betlehem, to worship the newborn king…?



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