Pilgrimage Reflection – The City on the Hill
“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” (Matthew 5:14-16).
We landed in Tel Aviv, Israel, in the evening, so by the time we were riding in our mini-bus to our hotel in Tiberias (two hours northeast), it was dark. As we drove through the dark, our guide, Ibrahim, pointed out a city on our left on a hill, a well-defined conglomeration of lights, with darkness around the lit up area. He said Jesus may have been referring to this particular town, Safed, lit up on the hill, when he made the statement quoted above. When Jesus lived, the lights obviously would’ve been dimmer, with no electricity. But still, the concept was the same: everyone could identify where the city was by its lights on the hill.
This view immediately reminded me of driving after dark with my family, when I was eight years old, through a desert from Mexico City to the small town where my parents were missionaries for a year. Now and then we’d see the clearly defined outline of a town on a hill, surrounded by darkness. Perhaps you have a memory of a spot like this from your travels.
Is your life a light in this often dark and difficult world to others who desperately need a haven of light and hope? Does your life give guidance to those who need help reaching the path to the Father?
Prayer: O God, help us to shine brightly for you in the world, not hide our faith from those around us who need to know you. Amen.