Darkness is nothing, but the light is something! Darkness is the absence of light. The lesson am about to teach becomes very real every night. You will realize that as you put out your light darkness enveloped your space.
- Jesus had a lot to say about light and its use in the world. He especially wanted His followers to understand that they are the only light the world will ever see. Notice He does not say that we His followers are like the light! No, to say so would mean that He is only comparing us to light. He wants us to understand that we are THE light! The world cannot hope to have another kind of light. We call this an exclusive claim. It means that believers are something that no one else can be. On this day of Covid-19, we have learnt that there are people who provide “essential services.” – of course, essential service depends on who is talking! From our scripture today we believers provide the world with a very essential service! We are the light of the world. The only source of true light. When we understand this then our “little light” becomes all the more important. We might be tempted to feel insignificant in this period of lockdowns, but that does not mean that we stop being the light. The only hope of the world!
A City on Hill
- Jesus then explains that a city built on a hill cannot be hidden. The choice of words here fascinates me. Jesus could have said a “house on a hill”, but you see a single house on a hill can easily be concealed. He instead talks about a city. Whereas He may not have meant a city in today’s terms, He must have had multiple grand dwellings in mind. This makes the saying more potent. How can one hide a city built on a hill? This reminds us of the public nature of our confession. True Christian faith cannot hide. It has a way of becoming obvious even in the most concealing environment. There are believers who believe that they must publicize their faith as loud as they can. This means if they cannot go to a Church building they do not see themselves as believers anymore. If they cannot pray loudly, their prayers will not be heard. Some believe that if they do not sing with emotions then they have not worshipped. Others believe that unless they receive an audio/ visual preaching then they have not been ministered to! But you see our current situation is displaying the problem with this brand of Christianity. Believers are who they are because of what God has made them be in Christ and not what they make themselves to be. Our faith makes us different. In Exodus 34:29-35 Moses after he had been on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, came down the mountain with his face shining. The glory of God’s presence shone on Moses’ skin. Paul picks this up in Chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians and explains that our glory as God’s people of the new covenant far outshines the glory of Moses and the old covenant. He concludes that we must therefore be bold and unrelenting in our confession of Christ because “we are a city on a hill!”