St Mary's Uttoxeter

Shine like the stars!

1 May 2022 • From the Vicar

I have just finished the first and started the second book about seven sisters titled after the Seven Sisters of Pleiades.There are seven books which look at these different sisters who have been adopted by ‘Pa Salt’ from the four corners of the world. The Seven Sisters is a story about humanity: love, family, joy, loss, fear and pain. And above all, the one gift that is more important than any other, and has kept us humans alive throughout unbearable suffering: HOPE.

I enjoy exploring the night sky, and since living in Uttoxeter I have seen The Pleiades and some amazing constellations and clusters along with the individual stars too. I am always dazzled by the infinite array of patterns of light that twinkle down at us.

It is good and right that we marvel at the stars and this leads us to declare the glory of the Lord, the creator of the heavens. But we are called to do more than praise God for the stars he created. In Paul’s letter to Philippi, he tells the followers of Christ to ‘shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.’ (Philippians 2:15-16).

We are called to shine like stars in dark places; to shine like the brightness of the heavens. I don’t often feel very shiny. So what does the word of God teach us about how to fulfil this command – to shine like stars?

Firstly, we need to remember that all light comes from God. He is the source of light. It is he who says ‘let there be light.’ To shine we must experience his light in our lives. It is not our own light but God’s light that will shine through us. Stars shine bright because they change hydrogen into helium in a process called nuclear fusion. That fusion creates their sparkle. What if we saw the power of the Holy Spirit within us as the act of nuclear fusion? We shine because of the Spirit fully at work within us. But where might the dark corners be, the parts of life we don’t let the Spirit into, that might dim that sparkle.

Sailors of old would use celestial navigation to find their way home. When we shine like stars, the purpose is to direct those lost in the dark to the Father, the source of all love and light and truth. As the people of Christ sparkle, may that be an encouragement to others and point them home to the greatness of God, sovereign over all.

What a mission we have – let’s dust ourselves off and shine for God in these dark days, even if we don’t feel very shiny ourselves.