You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
I can imagine Jesus talking and looking out across the Sea and seeing Tiberias on a hill in the distance at night where all that could be made out was the lights coming from it. The city was placed on that hill and the light cannot be hidden from a great distance.
God placed you where you are
Wherever you are in your life, at your job, in your community, or in your circle of friends, God put you there for a reason. It’s no accident that you are there. You’re to be the light that can’t be hidden. Even from a distance, people will see that there is the light of Christ coming from you as you live your life. In the darkness that may be surrounding someone’s life, you may be the only light they see and they will be attracted to the light.
But you may say that you are even in a low spot in you life. You think, how can I be that light to others when I can barely see my way out of the darkness myself? Tiberias sits at 600 feet below sea level, but it’s still a city on a hill. You’re like that, even in your lowest times, because of you have the light of Christ in you, you are still like that city on a hill.
People are watching
The consequence of being that city on a hill (with bright shining lights) is that people can see you. You stand out to others. Their eyes will naturally be drawn to you.
In 1630, John Winthrop gave a sermon entitled, “City upon a Hill”. Winthrop was a Puritan and one of the colonists in the Massachusetts Bay. While still on the ship Arbella, he told the new colonists that their new community would be “as a city upon a hill”, watched by the world.
…for we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a Hill, the eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a byword through the world, we shall open the mouths of enemies to speak evil of the ways of God and all professors for God’s sake, we shall shame the faces of may of Gods worthy servants and cause their prayers to be turned into curses upon us till we be consumed out of the good land whether we are going.
We as Christians, must realize that we are watched by others in the world. And while we can give hope to those, if we are not careful, we can also do great damage to God and our faith. It’s been said, that the greatest deterrent to the spread of Christianity are Christians themselves.
Thankfully, we have a forgiving God. We are not made free of sin, we are sinful in nature, but we are made free from sin. We are no longer condemned by our sin through the blood of Jesus Christ.
We have a great opportunity to be that shining city on a hill. A beacon of light that shows a path to Christ, the guidepost which we can all direct our lives.