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The Light of the World

by Mrs. Conley

Middle School Teacher

Matthew 5:14 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.”

In President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell address on Jan 10, 1989, he said, “I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace.... And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.”

Over 400 years before that speech, and an ocean away, John Winthrop was born in England on January 12, 1588. He grew up to be a Puritan leader and before his group of colonists set sail for America, he preached these words in his famous Sermon “A Model of Christian Charity”:

“So shall we keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. The Lord will be our God, and delight to dwell among us, as his own people, and will command a blessing upon us in all

our ways. So that we shall see much more of his wisdom, power, goodness, and truth, than formerly we have been acquainted with.

“We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies; when he shall make us a praise and a glory, that men shall say of succeeding plantations, ‘The Lord make it likely that of New England.’

“For we must consider that we shall be as a City upon a hill [see Matt 5:14]. The eyes of all people are upon us. So that if we shall deal falsely with our God in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word throughout the world.”

John Winthrop became Governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony and leader of the Puritans in New England. The sentiments from that sermon became their creed as they began a new civilization in a new land.

Both leaders believed in the concept that is encapsulated in the teachings from Jesus Christ centuries before, that a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.

God is at the helm and as we follow him, He will be our God and we will be His people.


This historical thought was delivered by our middle school students at devotional on 1/11/24. Each week one class leads the student body in prayer, the Pledge of Allegiance, scripture recitation, a meditation, and an historical thought. Family and friends are welcome, Thursdays 8:30-9:05 am.

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