City upon a Hill
John Winthrop – 1630 AD
One of the late President Reagan’s favorite sayings (this was read at his funeral Friday) comes from John Winthrop’s sermon he gave in 1630 AD in which he described America and the endeavor’s of the people coming to the new world at that time as a “City upon a hill.” But this description is far more appropriate of the church of Jesus Christ than any one nation on earth.
“…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 many of God’s 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. I close with the exhortation of Moses that faithful servant of the Lord in his last farewell to Israel:
Deuteronomy 30:15-20: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Let us not forget who we are in this world, who we really represent as we live our lives, and what we are called to do as the church – be a light to the world!
Matthew 5:14 – “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”