If we could find a place beyond the city lights, on a clear night we would see a billion stars in the sky. Some of these, on closer observation, would be planets and moons, asteroids and comets. The wonder of the heavenly bodies would become apparent to us when someone reveals their existence.
A constellation is a connection of dots with no concept of space or distance except in the mind and imagination of the observer. Once the pattern is revealed, its beauty begins to unfold. I can remember traveling the world and searching the night sky for Orion’s belt. It reminded me of the beauty of God’s creation and how His love spans the globe — we just have to look for it.
At some point in my childhood, I was fascinated by space, the final frontier. Yes, I was one of those people. I invested hours in learning some of the constellations like the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, Orion, etc. As I learned the patterns and understood where and when to look for them, I found myself enjoying the night sky more and more. What was once the darkest part of the night became warm and inviting. I bought a cheap telescope and a few books that I could afford to see better and understand more.
The road to Spiritual Maturity in Christ is like this. At some point we find ourselves in complete darkness, then the sky clears and we see the majesty of the stars. We’re overwhelmed by the beauty of creation, but where do we begin? So many heavenly bodies! Our minds can quickly become overwhelmed, but we’re not alone.
But you 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. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10
We are a community, a priesthood of believers. Some have been looking at the stars for a long time and have learned the patterns. They can help explain the constellations and in so doing the night sky not only becomes friendlier, it becomes inviting.
Such is the role of a disciple maker. One who simply reveals that which has been there all along. The road to Spiritual Maturity is a process of pointing out when and where to look for constellations if you get the metaphor. If I’m doing a great job, the disciple begins to see the patterns themselves. The last thing on my mind is for them to look at me. That makes no sense! Look at the heavens to appreciate the wonder.
And be amazed!
Do all of this in love with the understanding that the Jesus not only commanded that we love each other, He calls us His friends.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. John 15:12-15
Now go and find someone else who is walking in total darkness. Show them the patterns. Help them make sense of it all. Get excited when they see constellations you missed or planets that skipped your attention. Enjoy the journey and celebrate the discoveries as you continue to point people to the heavens.