You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and place 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 (NIV)

*   *   *

The concept of the City Placed on a Hill is another biblical expression, this time from the Sermon on the Mount.

Says one Friend: “We’re going to be getting back to the streets.” According to the Brethren Encyclopedia, the Society of Friends in its first half-century was far-and-away the most evangelical and proselytizing denomination in all of North America.

As a Meeting is renewed in Christ, the power being poured upon it will be lost if the members do not find service – not more committee work, but real service. This can mean joining with others in feeding the homeless in town – and in the process, being blessed, too.

The Friend heard a radio preacher tell about a congregation that was solid, but just wasn’t growing. After twenty years, membership was still right around the 200 it had always been. “Why aren’t we growing?” they asked one another. “We have all this love among us. Our sermons are powerful, our services uplifting.” Then someone felt a leading: “Well, maybe what we need to do is go out and lend a hand to other Christians who are already involved in real service projects. Not start our own, mind you, but join in where we’re needed. Let them see our love, while we’re at it.”

In two years, their membership was over two thousand.

*   *   *

For this was Christ’s Promise, Other Sheep have I, which are not of this Fold, them also (saith he) will I bring, and there shall be one Sheepfold, and one Shepherd over them: And when Christ comes to fold them upon his Holy Mountain, which Mountain is within, then will they walk in the Footsteps of the Flocks of his Companions, and know a lying down where he makes his Flocks to rest at Noon. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

 

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