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City on a Hill

Weekly Devotionals

City on a Hill

What a turn of events. We live in a world today that is completely different from just a shy three months ago. In some ways this could be the beginning of what could be a “Joseph in Egypt” world, where triggered by the coronavirus, the world might literally enter a period of prolonged recession, a period of lean cows in every way.

And just as the entire world in their despair and famine turned to a Joseph led Egypt, the world will desperately seek for a place of comfort and direction. Would this not be an opportunity for the body of Christ to play that role, pointing them to the Bread of Life?
What does that look like practically? What can we possibly do?

I want to share a little article I came across recently, that perhaps paints a picture of how God’s people can be that “city on a hill”:

Thirty-eight-year-old Luliane Urban, a 30-year-old from Italy who was infected with Covid-19, witnessed the extraordinary testimony from a doctor, Lombardy: “I was an atheist, but now I’m returning to God.
“What we have seen and done in our hospital for the past three weeks has been nothing but a nightmare. First a small stream, then growing, like a large river; A dozen, and then hundreds, have flowed. Now we are not doctors but selectmen. It is the selectors who decide who should live and who should be sent home to die. Yes, painfully speaking, all of them are taxpayers for the right to life. But now we decide who should live and who should die.
Until two weeks ago, we and many of my colleagues were atheists. One hundred percent believed that science excludes God because we are doctors.
I used to look at my parents at church and mock them. A 75-year-old clergyman arrived here nine days ago. A poor man. He was struggling to breathe. But he always had a Bible in his hand. He reads it to the patients who are dying and reads them quickly. He places the Bible in the hands of some and we looked at it intently.
Two of my colleagues have passed away. Some are sick. In total despair. We have been mentally and physically whole. We see this at this point. Now we agree. As human beings, we have reached our limits. There is nothing we can do except increase the death toll of the people we care about. We began to notice his work. We begin to feel that God begins where man ends. Slowly we approached the priest; We started talking slowly.
Truth be told, we who were atheists until yesterday, now pray to God for peace. Pray for us to help care for the sick. The courage that was supposed to be lost has somehow returned. We are more energetic now. Yesterday, that seventy-five-year-old priest died. That means 120 deaths in three weeks. He helped to give us the peace we never expected in just nine days, when all hope was shattered. Remembering that we were helped by his weakness… ..the good shepherd went to the Lord.
If I continue this way, I will follow him for sure. I have not seen my house for the past six days. I don’t even remember when I last ate. Now I realize I am nothing on this earth. But I will live like that priest until my last breath for others. I am happy to have returned to my God when my loved ones were suffering and dying around me
. ”

As God’s people, we might not be immune to the spread and turmoil of Coronavirus, we might not be immune to the consequences of a potential great depression ahead, and our way of life could be very different for a while, but as Christians we are a people of a Kingdom promise that ought to be absolutely real in our lives. Let’s renew our minds of that cosmic reality and promise. From that place, I am absolutely sure we can draw not only from a 7 year fat cow inventory of Egypt, but from an infinite inventory of love, compassion and forgiveness we draw from our Heavenly Father.

Remember to “Rejoice always, pray continually and give thanks in all circumstances;  for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” Thessalonians 5:16-18.

Be safe everyone.