Out of some unexplainable habit, I daily look to the page 2 column in the Raleigh/Durham News & Observer that gives the latest happenings of the beautiful people. It usually marks a recent divorce or some torrid allegation, and occasionally some happy talk about the people our culture has dubbed “stars”. I read this stuff often with little knowledge of the people whose lives are being described, but tell myself that in order to be hip and relevant with young people I probably should at least know who Kanye West and Ke$ha are. It is hard to keep up – the stars of today are the cautionary tales of tomorrow!
Keeping up with the stars is probably a rather recent tradition in civilization’s growth (if you can call star tracking a sign of a civilized person). I don’t suspect that Joseph and Mary followed too much of the local pop culture – too busy trying to keep imperial powers at bay! But certainly there were a fair number of people in their time who followed other stars – the kind that are seen best at night. It was that kind of star-gazing that brought wise men to witness the arrival of Jesus in a humble stable. The truly wise are the ones who are on the lookout for real stars on life. The Star of David pointed to a new Star on the horizon . . . Jesus the Christ!
As students begin to return to campus I wonder what stars they will be watching this semester. More importantly, I wonder if they are open to being called upon to be stars themselves. In so many ways Duke students are accustomed to being stars: in Engineering, violin, foreign language, football, and on and on. In those moments of stardom it wasn’t always easy to have the spotlight fall upon one, but it was a position into which they became comfortable. Imagine if the stardom of each day is now less about achievements that the world celebrates with honors and newspaper articles, but more importantly a stardom that calls all of us to shed light upon the Christ who has come to save us. Isn’t that a greater star light that we are invited to radiate? The question is simple for all of us: Would anyone be called wise if they were to follow us to come to encounter Christ?
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