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Seeking Stardom

November 12, 2018

Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”(Daniel 12: 3)

Everyone in Los Angeles has stories of celebrity sightings in the course of going about their everyday lives.  We see stars in our neighborhoods, restaurants and markets, on the street, on the train, at the hairdresser, through our work, and elsewhere.  Father Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries, tells one such story in his book Barking to the Choir.  He relates that Glenda, a tattooed felon gang member on parole was waiting tables in their Homegirl Café when Diane Keaton and a friend stopped by for lunch.  Glenda did not know who Diane Keaton was—but a few minutes later, said that she thought she recognized her from somewhere.  Keaton started to reply that she has a common face and gets comments like that all the time—when Glenda showed a spark of recognition, and said triumphantly, “No, wait, now I know . . . We were locked up together!”

There are many celebrities in LA, and many more would-be stars.  Some people come to LA hoping to snag a role on TV or on the Big Screen.  Few succeed. But they may be looking for stardom in the wrong places.  The Scripture texts for next Sunday explain that anyone can achieve stardom: “Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever”(Daniel 12: 3).[1]

We are assured a star, not on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but as beacons of light in our neighborhoods if we stay close to the Word and keep our eyes focused on Jesus. Paul explains that when we do so, our light will shine brightly:  “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure . . . Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life” (Philippians 2:14-16 a).

The psalmist assures us that we will not be abandoned when our time on earth is over: “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will never abandon me to the realm of the dead . .  . You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” (Excerpts, Psalm 16: 9-11).  Jesus will lead us through this life and usher us to our place in heaven where our stars will shine brightly.  The stars of those who follow the path of life—the path leading to God—will shine forever.

Jesus did not promise us a rose garden life—in fact, he warned us that our lives will be difficult.  Even so, we are promised an eternal reward: “Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Mark 13: 13). We do not earn our stars, as generals do.  We become a star in God’s kingdom by admitting our mistakes and asking for forgiveness.  When we do that, God who is gracious and good, will forgive our sins, so that we can shine our lights into the dark corners of the world.  Our stardom in Christ Jesus is not limited to 10, 20, 30, or 50 years.  It is not limited by time or space—we will shine in the heavens with God forever. That is the promise.  That is why we “ . . . hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10: 23).

Do you yearn to shine as bright as a star?  Look no further than the Guidebook to Stardom (aka the Bible).  If you don’t have the Guidebook, get thee to a bookstore or to Amazon now. Christ Jesus is our guiding star who leads us to stardom.  May your star rise and shine for all to see now and for eternity.

Diane Cieslikowski Reagan

Prayer: “Be thou a bright flame before me, Be thou a guiding star above me, Be thou a smooth path before me, Be thou a kindly shepherd behind me, Today—tonight—and forever.”   –Saint Columba

[1]The Scripture texts for next Sunday are Daniel 12: 1-3; Psalm 16; Hebrews 10: 11-25; Mark 13: 1-13.

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