Lights are everywhere during the Christmas season. The lights represent the theological truth that Jesus is the light of the world.
When Jesus was born, a bright light in the sky led the Magi to Jesus. “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East and have come to worship Him,’” Matthew 2:1-2.
We need the light to see the light. A star showed the Magi the way to Jesus. Stars start out as particles of dust. When the particles come together, they contract, become hotter, and they become brighter. This process can take many, many years. It takes a long time for a star to form. Each day, God is collecting our dust and particles, bringing us together. This process is not easy. It is hot and sometimes unbearable, but with the testing of our faith, we will shine bright for the world to see. Note that when the Magi spotted the star in the East, there were other stars in the sky, but there was something special about this star.
There is something special about all of us whose light shines because of the Holy Spirit. We often worry about being different from others, peculiar, or the odd ball. No worries. Everything making us who we are makes us shine brighter than the other stars. Like the Magi followed the star in the East, there are people who will notice us and follow us to the One who makes us shine. We should lead our lives in a way that will lead others to Christ. This does not mean that we have to be perfect, but it does mean that we have to acknowledge our imperfections and our need for grace.
When we make mistakes, it does not mean that our light does not shine. In fact, it is in those times when we are in the deepest need of God’s grace that our light shines the brightest. How many of us see stars in the dark? Stars are the brightest on the backdrop of darkness. Those times when we are in crisis, in need of understanding, lost, and feeling hopeless are when we have the opportunity to witness the power of grace lighting up our lives the most.
For us today, the light is not in the sky. It is illuminating our hearts, leading us and guiding us. Let us be that beacon of light that leads people to hope, joy, love, and peace. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. As we embody the Holy Spirit, the truth and the light, we will shine bright for the whole world to see who we truly are—shining stars. You are a star.