“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
In the Mid-1800’s a French Aristocrat, by the name of Alexis de Tocqueville wrote the book Democracy in America. In it he praised our system of government, our way of life, almost everything about our country. In one passage he said, “Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power. America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”
With all the distress looming over our country lately, like the debt and political problems, it concerns me that America is on the verge of losing its goodness, if it hasn’t already. America was once known as a “shining light on a hill”. Righteousness is a prevalent theme in the Bible. God desires it from us because He is righteous and because we need it for our own good, but righteousness doesn’t come by accident. We are righteous before God when we receive the sacrifice for us by Jesus’ death on the cross. But righteousness on the earth is a moment-by-moment, decision-by-decision process that we need to pursue constantly. What has made America great in my opinion is not the system of government on the outside of people but what governs people on the inside. Every day, whether I am at home with my family, at work in my career, or even just simply enjoying life and having fun, I need to pursue what is right and good in God’s sight. That is much of what church is all about, responding to what Jesus did by doing what He desires for me. And that will not only keep America good, but will also keep us blessed and perhaps we can be that light on the hill not only personally but nationally.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 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. 16 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. (ESV)