Those who are wise shall shine
Like the brightness of the firmament,
And those who turn many to righteousness
Like the stars forever and ever.
~ Daniel 12:3

Having not grown up in churches that strictly follow the Liturgy, I didn’t realize until recently that the Christian year actually begins with Advent–but how appropriate is it that we mark all our time by the coming of Christ? I love the beauty of this. And so, as this year draws to a close, I wanted to actually look at the liturgical reading for the week, quoted above. The old year ends and the new year begins with a focus on Christ’s return, before we shift our focus toward His first coming.

And that verse from Daniel really spoke to me this week. It’s talking about the final judgment, when the dead shall rise into eternity, some to punishment and some to glory. Now read those words again. Those who are wise shall shine … those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.

Does that speak to you like it does to me? Shine like the stars. That’s what we’re called to do–to be wise, to turn many to righteousness. This, my friends, whatever our jobs or our vocations, is our ultimate calling. We should be pointing others, always, to Him. We should be leading them to righteousness. Our words, our actions, our lives should be a testimony.

As Christians, we never get a day off. It isn’t just that people are always watching (though of course they are). It’s that God is always watching. We know this, of course, but I think far too often we hide behind the adage of “Well, I’m only human.” Obviously this is true, and we’re going to falter and stumble and get in bad moods and snap at people and grumble. But then what? Do we say, “Who cares, we all do it? I’m only human.”? Or do we apologize and seek to repair any damage we’ve done? Do we make people say, “Well if they’re a Christian, then no thanks” or do we lead them to Him?

As the Christmas season approaches, we’re all going to see stars everywhere–decorations, lights, on top of our trees. Those stars are a reminder of the one that led the wise men to Christ…but they should also be a reminder of how we are to lead others to Him today too.

May we be wise, may we guide people in righteousness. My friends, may we shine like the stars.

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