“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault … Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.” (Philippians 2:14,15)
Do you like to gaze at the sky or stars? I’m often amazed by the light in the night sky. The moon grows from new to full and back again. Alongside this are the stars. They appear varied in size, in the intensity of light and in the speed of their twinkle. They pop against the black backdrop of night — the more you look, the more you see. Stars appear as little individual lights, but together they provide light in the night sky — starlight is consistent and persistent in its offering to the earth and universe.
The text says to do everything without grumbling or arguing. “Everything” could be considered service — not only “big” or “extra” service but everyday giving in care and doing. Service to myself, my family, work and community (whatever shape that takes). From time to time, one can see grumbling and arguing arise alongside the doing — indeed, I’ve experienced it. I’ve grumbled when I’ve felt burdened; I’ve had too many serving demands, and the “light” from my service has faded in me and from me.
To be “blameless and pure” and allow my “starlight” to shine, I’ve learned to do what I can, where I am, when and how I can. In serving this way, my grumbling is calmed, and my joy and satisfaction in serving are real. I keep an eye out for my grumbling or arguing as a method of knowing that I’m under load and need to take stock.
There’s an old saying, “Flowers leave their fragrance on the hand that bestowed them” (author unknown). Service can be like that. There can be a blessing to all involved — the server and recipient. I sense that “doing everything” is not meant to be so hard that we react by arguing or grumbling internally or externally, nor should it be that we just absorb it and internalise these responses or reactions. The stars shine in the night sky, each doing what they can in their piece of space. Then collectively, their lights combine, sharing starlight, giving form to the night sky and providing navigational reference — stars bless. May we be able to shine like them and know blessings from both sides of service.
Lord, allow my light to shine before everyone I meet, serving You where I can, and give me the grace and peace to do Your will joyfully. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.