This week our journey into Philippians (2:14-18) calls us to be lights that shine so bright that we imitate the contrast of stars against the black curtain of space. In the Lord's timing, this week we also enjoyed the hype of a solar eclipse. As the alignment between the moon and the sun took place, there was a darkening of the effect of the sun. Even if you were not in the perfect viewing spot, you could tell that the light of the sun was obstructed.
God, in his great mercy and grace, has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the wise. He has used earthen jars to contain his treasure. We undeserving Christians have the great privilege of carrying the most powerful light in all the world; the Gospel of Christ. It is an awesome responsibility to be Christ's ambassadors. There are, however, times we can bring obstruction to that light. The world may look at us and see grumbling, complaining, disputing and our light is dimmed. We can let ourselves get in the way and cause our own eclipse of the SON.
Paul helps us to see that a visible church shines at greatest contrast with the world when it is a united church. We are to be Children of God who are not grumblers but who live in the contentment of our very faithful savior. He reminds us that as children of God we are representing the King of the universe in a generation that seeks only for self and opposes the idea that sinners need salvation. When we grumble and complain we look and sound just like the dissatisfaction of a self seeking society. But Christ calls us to the contrast of his beautiful light.
The contrasting light of the gospel is not just the words of the gospel but also the obedience to every implication of the gospel (Phil 2:12-13). As we, the local visible church, reach into the community of Cincinnati, we are reminded that light needs a clear path. It reminds me of what Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount. We need to let our light shine and not hide it under a bush (perhaps even the covering of our own sin). We need to keep the salt fresh with the great consistent flavor of the gospel in our lives. The gospel needs to shine without obstruction and maintain the flavor of salvation. And we have the greatest reward to look forward to in completing our great commission task in the best possible way. We look forward to the Day of Christ. That day when the brightest shining light will blaze consummation glory into our lives as he brings us into his perfection for all eternity.
Why then shouldn't we desire to be his stars and to see his light penetrate into the hearts of those who may hear his good news and believe? How many future shining stars are out there who we have not talked with yet?