A City on a Hill
Light is a very common metaphor in the Bible. Light and dark are often used to contrast knowledge and ignorance. The world is “in the dark” about God, but Christians “turn on the lights.”
John 8:12 records Jesus saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus being “the light,” made himself visible. His full glory had been hidden in its completeness behind heaven’s tapestry, and choosing to give up lap-and-luxury, Jesus joined our suffering. Who would do such a thing? I mean, why would anyone choose to give up perfection and walk alongside all those broken by imperfection?
Not only did Jesus accomplish this outlandish task in order to free us from the tyranny of our sin, but he also named us as the light. He told believers that; “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
We need light to be visible everywhere because darkness is everywhere. Businesses enslave people everyday in rhythms of overwork, while blatantly disregarding God’s freedom found in rest. Politics enslave people everyday in division rather than unity. Educational facilities today are aiming to undo people’s beliefs in God; the media and the arts are promoting agendas that only further encourage pride rather than to explore true humility, and families are becoming centers for loneliness, divorce, discord, abuse, and more.
The orphan is not only in Africa, but is there in our own families, classrooms, cars, and cubicles. Oppression and injustice are not only in the places of social injustice that Hollywood makes “sexy,” but the needs of the widow and the hurting are right in front of us.
We need to be visible. We need to see the need, and instead of avoiding it or placating it, we need to step into darkness. Most of us don’t welcome more suffering into our lives because we have no margin. We haven’t obeyed Jesus’ command to be visible alongside people suffering because we haven’t obeyed his first command to “cast all our cares upon him.” We walk around maxed-out with our own suffering because we won’t let Jesus free us, and therefore we can’t care for anyone else.
*For further reading in the Bible: 1st Peter 5:5 – 5:8; 1 Timothy 5:3 – 5:16; Matthew 25:31 – 25:40; John 8:21
Accompanying this study is over 300-Hours of video footage from 150 of today’s top Christian thinkers on culture, creativity, innovation, and invention at www.makejesusculture.com and www.gardencityproject.com. We aim to help churches develop grass roots culture formation for their contexts. Go now!