In September my niece was married to a wonderful man in North Carolina. The wedding took place in a resort community called Beach Mountain. This community is on top of Beach Mountain at nearly 5,000 ft. above sea level. Driving around the area I noticed that from almost anywhere in the valley and neighboring ridges you could see this community up there on Beach Mountain. This illustrates what Jesus said in Matthew 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.”
There is a common sense application that is very basic. If you want something to be seen you elevate it, but did Jesus have more in mind when He said “A city on a hill cannot be hidden”? Think about the New Jerusalem in Revelation chapter 21. This enormous city nearly 1400 miles cubed is perfection to the 10th power. It is what God has always envisioned for mankind – community with no tears, no death, no sorrow, no crying and no pain. It is a community where people of all races live in perfect harmony.
I am convinced that Jesus was calling His followers to model the life portrayed in Revelation 21 in community – the local church. You may ask, “How do we model something as glorious as Heaven?” What if we started by practicing the “one anothers” in scripture? How glorious would it be to have a church community that forgave one another and would lovingly bear one another’s burdens? And that’s only two of the huge list scripture gives us!
A local church community that is intentionally seeking to make feel valued, loved, nurtured, needed and protected is in stark contrast to the ways of the world. Go into any organization including many “Christian” organizations and you will find complaining and disputing, arrogance, self-seeking, scheming and manipulation, discord, unrest and the like. When the church acts in ways opposite of what the world acts like she becomes that city set on a hill that unchurched people will notice and be drawn to. When this happens there will be many opportunities to share Jesus with people.
In Christ, we are called to be a community in which every aspect of life has been radically transformed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. The more the community is transformed by the gospel the brighter the light that is shining into this dark world.
Because Jesus loves us,
Jeff M. Fullmer