“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
I’ve spoken of the Shining City all my political life. …In my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still
Ronald Reagan – Farewell Address to America
Jesus used the image of a City on a Hill in the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5,6, and 7. The reference was intended to highlight the first parts of Matthew commonly referred to as the Be-Attitudes or the Sermon on the Mount that start with’ Blessed Be The…”
“For they shall ….”
His message was intended to help bridge the divide between the human and the divine in a world wrought with spiritual misunderstanding. It was/is THE manifesto of God’s intent in a world building laws to regulate the behavior of man.
Many politicians in Washington have hooked into the reference over the years to describe the idea of America’s reputation around the world. The American ideal is one thought to spread the light of freedom, decency, and individual sacred space where the light of goodness can spread throughout the globe.
But if you watch the news, there can be a sense the light is dimming, especially in Washington DC.
No matter what channel you watch, there’s an impending feeling that everything that has to do with government is contributing to the dimming of a light that once was.
But If I may just give a little encouragement today…
I was with a Congressional Member last week who testified in a hearing that had to do with all the foreign assistance America gives to other countries around the globe.
The Secretary of State was in attendance, and the Congressman asked, “Mr. Secretary, do you happen to know how much foreign assistance China gives to help defeat poverty around the world?”
Knowing there wouldn’t be a clear answer, the Congressman said, “I’m not expecting an exact answer from you sir, but I think we can both agree – it’s minimal.”
They went on to discuss the need to continue being a light, a city on the hill whereby other countries can see hope, rise up from the doldrums of a poverty that include food distribution, creative economic viability, and education. .
Later in the evening, as I discussed this experience with my Congressman friend, I was moved by the passionate way he articulated the need to reach out and continue being a city on the hill shining the light of freedom to all those who long to have a life of self determination beyond local politics and corruption that may shackle the human spirit.
I write all this today to give you some hope.
When you watch the news and see the political gamesmanship playing out on rivalries between Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill; there are those on both sides of the aisle trying to fight for the image of reaching across the country – and the world – to help continue being a city on the hill worthy of our calling.
There are people in our government that hold high the teachings of Jesus as it relates to their own spiritual light as well as the integration of the light in a national sense. And that is something we can all be proud of.
The City on a Hill is still alive in the midst of the perceived darkness, and that you, can rest assured.