Last Thursday morning, my kids and I were driving down the street going to school. The heavens had just given us a fresh blanket of magnificent white. And the sun was shining brightly on the snow. My daughter Isla then shouted, “Look daddy, there are stars in the snow, stars have fallen from the sky!” The glistening light from each snowflake was like a star from heaven resting on the earth.
Just like the stars that Isla saw, in our gospel this week (Mt. 16), Peter also sees a glistening star from heaven- he sees the Christ star in Jesus. And then Jesus tells Peter that he was able to recognize the Christ in him, not because of blood or flesh, but because the father in the heavens had bestowed it on him, had given him the revelation that The Christ has come down to earth. Peter’s recognition of the Christ in Jesus is like a glistening star fallen from heaven.
Dear Friends, The work of the Christ follower, the work of the True Christian is to learn to see like Peter. For every time we recognize the Christ in one another, every time we see the light of heaven on this dark earth, God’s church is built. God’s church is built, not of blood and flesh, but of star-light. Church is not a building, not an institution, the true church of God comes into being whenever we behold the shining of the Christ at the Altar, in one another, in all things.