Walking home from my in-laws night before last, between the row of houses that separate us… The houses were dark, but who needs a flashlight when we have our trusty smart phones?
Yet I remember thinking, “To be so dark, it sure is bright.”
Yeah, I know, but in my mind it made perfect sense.
I looked up to see that the moon in a very clear West Texas sky was exceptionally bright. I also noticed that the moon had a dancing partner – a star that appeared unusually close and bright. If that was Venus, the “evening star,” it appeared too close and too late. Certainly out of position. I had no idea what it was, and got distracted by four yapping, jumping fools when I opened the front door.
It wasn’t until the next morning that I discovered that what I was witnessing was a Jupiter moon – an unusual pass-by of the massive, gaseous planet in line with our moon – easily the brightest lights in the night sky. This convergence won’t happen again for another 13 years.
Turns out that the brightest stars in the galaxy that night weren’t stars at all. One was another planet, the other our moon. Both of these “lesser lights” lit up our night sky because of the light they reflect from our own sun.
There’s the science. Here’s the parable.
We live in a world made dark because, like the earth, the people in this world have rotated away from their one true Source of life, energy, hope and wisdom. Put in astronomical terms, they’re searching for a brighter star, looking past the obvious, to find a “star” of their own making, or one they can control.
But our Star of the Morning has a way to reach them. He strategically places light reflectors – His own version of a Jupiter moon – in their dark sky to point them back toward Him. Their power is not found in their size or proximity. It is found in the ways they reflect the true Light of the World.
If you follow Christ, I’m referring to you.
When you simply show up, graciously engaged in the morning of their hopes and dreams, you’re the fulfillment of their search for the brightest star.
When you make yourself available as an ambassador for Christ in their loneliest, most desperate situations, you’re the answer to their prayer and the fulfillment of their search for the brightest star.
When you radiate the simple joy of the Lord, your strength, while everything else in their universe seems so complicated, you’re the fulfillment of their search for the brightest star.
When you love them in their unloveliness, even when they’re trying to jump through everybody else’s hoops and meet everyone else’s conditions for approval, you’re the fulfillment of their search for the brightest star.
When you are faithful to guard them in prayer and lead them by the faithfulness of your lifestyle – all the while simply being there for them without pretense or preachiness – you’re the fulfillment of their search for the brightest star.
When you engage with the forces of darkness on their behalf – forces they are often oblivious to and powerless to fight – you’re the fulfillment of their search for the brightest star.
When you burn with inner passion for a Kingdom of love, not made by politicians or kings but by the risen Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings, you’re the fulfillment of their search for the brightest star.
When you refuse to run from the ugly sight of their humanity, and refuse to go dark by conforming to the lure of their false promises – when you continue to navigate through their night skies while stubbornly reflecting the greatness of your kind King – you are, and always will be, the fulfillment of their search for the brightest star.
(Photo credit: Giuseppe Petricca)