Scripture reading: Matthew 2:1-12
Text: “You may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:15 NIV).
In the Christmas story we find an important expression about the star that led the three wise men to the newborn King and Messiah, Jesus Christ, “We saw his star in the east…” (2b.v.), said the Magi to King Herod. Then the star “went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was” (9.v.). When they saw the star and finally met the Messiah, they were overjoyedbecause their understanding about this special event of the new King’s birth was right. This star was God’s great instrument to lead the wise men to the newborn King, the Savior of the world.
The apostle Paul also uses the word star in our text in the letter to the Philippians. He states that as children of God we shine like stars in the sky in this world. What does it mean? It means that our light through Christ shines before others, like the stars shine. The Lord calls us to be blazing, light-giving stars in a world where people live in darkness. Our relationship with God and everything He does in our lives should not be hidden, kept in secret or personal. We are to shine!
Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Mt.5:14-16).
A couple of months ago there was a birthday party with the Sunday School children in the Bethlen Hall. The birthday boy tried to blow the candles out on his cake, but he could not. The candle flame kept burning. It was amazing.
In this life we may experience so many hardships and difficulties that want to blow our light of love, passion, commitment out. Satan wants to blow your Christ light out in your heart, for sure. However, if you keep trusting in the Lord and let your light shine for Jesus, there is no way that Satan can blow it out because the Bible says, “the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” (1John 4:4). Jesus is your light!
Additionally, it is easy to not notice that our family members and friends live without God. The Bible says that without Christ they are prisoners in the dominion of darkness (Col.1:13). Our family members and friends may enjoy their lives, they can live a contented and joyful life, however, we need to see it clearly that if they live without Christ they live in spiritual darkness. Therefore they need to hear about the Word of Life and the Word of Light, about Jesus Christ. The best ever instrument in the hand of the Lord God to share Jesus with them is: you!
The Bible encourages us to preach God’s word (2Tim.4:2) and to be always prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give the reason for the hope that we have (1Pt.3:15). The Lord gives us opportunities to share our faith in Christ. If we are truly grateful for all that Jesus has done for us, if we really understand how important it is to share our faith with someone, then we want to shine Jesus’ light, whatever the cost is.
I believe that the Holy Spirit is speaking to year heart now. He calls and encourages you to be Jesus’ light to those who live in the darkness of sin without our Savior. Maybe He is convincing you to take a step toward sharing, with your family and friends, what Jesus did for you, that he saved your life from sin and now you have a new life in Christ. Maybe He calls you to rededicate your life to Him. Maybe He is leading you to be His brave child who steps up when the opportunity comes to share Christ with the lost world. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you in your precious calling! Amen!
Rt. Rev. Dr. Csaba Krasznai
Calvin Synod Conference
of the United Church of Christ