Shine Like the Stars in the Sky

Hello Friends!

What an interesting time we are living in! The news, the fears, the hoarding, the virus, the quarantine, all of it is unlike anything we have experienced. I am sure that for each of you there are some pros as well as cons. Potentially more time together as a family, but also more time isolated from others. Potentially more time to complete projects you want to do, but also more time away from work. 

What is the Christian response in the midst of something like this? What guidelines does the Bible give us for such living? 
I think much of the Bible can speak to our current condition, and as your pastor, I hope to offer these encouragements over time rather than to pour out one long list. 

Today I was reminded of Philippians 2:14-15… 

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. Philippians 2:14‭-‬15 NIV

Wow, I like the “shine like stars in the sky” part and would love for the Lord to see me as blameless and pure! The other part? Difficult!
Do everything without grumbling or arguing? Especially difficult in our privileged society isn’t it? But it’s not something the scripture suggests as a good thing to try, it is something the scripture commands. Do everything, fulfill all your roles and obligations (in family, marriage, work, home, city, church) without grumbling or arguing (against each other, against others, against self, against God). It is then that we shine, it is then that we are found to be pure. 

But how do we do this? The basis of the statement we just read is the first part of chapter 2, which beautifully reminds us that Jesus chose to do just that for us: humble Himself, serve, without grumbling. The strength to live free of grumbling is found not in self-determination, but in Christ’s determination. Ask Jesus to be fully present with you so that you endure these times with His Spirit. 

Then, you will shine like stars in the sky.