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.
When Jesus declared that we are the light of the world, He was referring to us collectively. Those who place their trust in Him are His light in the world. But His metaphor doesn't stop with just saying that we are the light of the world—He expands the imagery and says that we are a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden. We are a city. A ‘city’ speaks of many people, a collective group. It is important that, individually, we shine with the light of Christ because we won't shine together unless we are each filled with the light of Christ. But it is only together that we truly fulfill the call to be a city on a hill. He is speaking of the church gathered—the church together is a city within a city that reveals a new way for us to live.
Together we shine brighter. On our own there is only so much we can do to push back darkness. My light and your light each have a certain radius, but our lights together enlarge the influence of light over darkness. The enemy wants to belittle our light, discourage our light and ultimately extinguish our light. Why? Because the light is Jesus in us. The light in us is what reveals, again, the image of the One who created us. We are made in the image of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The oil of the Holy Spirit feeds this flame so it continues to burn brightly, so the enemy will do everything to isolate our light. He wants us to stop our reliance on the Holy Spirit so this flame will diminish and extinguish. The enemy wants us to feel like our light doesn't mean anything so we will let the winds of life blow the flame out. He doesn't want us fully alight, shining bright with the love of Christ.
Together as lights, the enemy can't extinguish our brightness. For if one of us loses our flame we are right next to someone else who can relight our passion and faith in Jesus. If you feel like your light has gone out, don't feel guilty or shameful, don't be intimidated by someone else's passion for Jesus, but rather get around believers who are alight with the love of Christ, alive in His presence. Let someone else help light your fire for Jesus.
Together we are a city on a hill. Let's shine brightly, let’s fight for each other’s lights, let’s fan into flame the gifts and the grace upon each other’s lives. And let's see this city alive with the glory of Christ because we were not afraid to shine brightly with the light of Jesus. Together we are brighter.
// Pastor Josh Kelsey