12th January 2019

You Are a Star

“Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”
Isaiah 40:26 (NIV)

Stars are highly visible but they can be read and misread. However, Lassiter posits “they must be visible in order for subjects to be socially intelligible.” Perhaps, excuse the pun, it sheds some light on what Jesus said, “Your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance, for how can you hide a city that stands on a hilltop?” (Matthew 5:14 TPT). God is seen in the world through the Church and is reflected in our identity.

The initial quote is taken from some current reading about recognition and identity and the author’s “central claim is that identity is best understood as a constellation” like stars in the night sky. Beauty, opportunity and danger arise from our observation of what appears static but is in reality always moving and changing. In the constellation we can observe in the array a particular star, a specific congregation, person or an element of our personality. Equally, to continue the analogy, a particular star will burn out but within the universe something new is simultaneously created. Sometimes we must let go of things we most cherish to embrace something new.

The author states that identity can draw us together giving us a social, political and theological union. We note that the focal point of our identity is in Christ because we “are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9). However, that identity can also cause alienation from others who reject what we believe and stand for, leading to “manipulation, misinterpretation, and even physical violence.” What was said of Jesus may be true of us: “the Son of Man must pass through great suffering and rejection from this generation” (Luke 17:25 TPT).

So as an individual and part of the Church we reflect and represent our Head, Jesus Christ, in whom through the Spirit our identity is transformed. The Church remains a bright constellation in the night sky composed of differing personalities each known by God who empowers us as twinkling stars in our families and the various communities in which we play a part day by day.

Prayer
Father, as we end another year, be with us that we reflect the glory of Jesus for the year ahead. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

Study by David Gibbs
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Quotes from – Lassiter, K. (1999) Recognizing Other Subjects: Feminist Pastoral Theology and the Challenge of Identity (p. 83-84). Pickwick Publications. Kindle Edition.

About the Author:
David Gibbs in an Elder and Pastoral Worker for Grace Communion International in Central England and south Wales.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Birmingham
All Saints Church
George Road
BIRMINGHAM
B23 7QB

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1:00pm

Local Congregational Contact:
David Gibbs
Phone: 0777-7667635
Email: david.gibbs@gracechurch.com

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