Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16)
While reading the shocking news of a man killing a dozen people and wounding 58 more during a Batman movie premiere in Colorado; I can’t but wonder how many of these terrible events could be blamed on us Christians.
Where is the light? It is the question that comes to mind. Where are we, while people kill each other, while they destroy their lives in a spiral of violence, sin, and addiction?
And I don’t mean to blame Christians for every act of violence that occurs in the world (that would be pure madness), but the Scriptures clearly teach that we are to light this dark world with the light of Jesus. In fact, the Bible says that a city on top of a mountain cannot be hidden; but we seem to have found a way to do it.
Take for instance my own experience with Christianity in America: As far as I can remember, for the last ten years, nobody has ever approached me to handle me a gospel tract or invite me to a Christian church; in ten years! (And the same is true for every member of my family)
After we moved to a different city, we started looking for a church. We have been in services in at least 24 different Christian churches in the area (we counted them!) First of all, we did find that many of these churches were a mix of Christianity with pagan religions, and they shared with them doctrines, rituals, points of view, and programs. We never, not even once, were asked about our spiritual salvation or were approached by a single person (or pastor), who would be willing to helping us to grow as Christians (even in the better churches).
So, my second question would be: where is the light of the world while Christian families like mine are starving for healthy spiritual food?
In the block where I live there is a supposedly Christian Church. In fact, between their building and my home there is just one house. I have lived there for almost 5 months but nobody as visited me yet, and probably they never will.
My family and I quit looking for a biblical church a year ago; which is not to say we have abandoned our faith. As Churches are sleeping or dying slowly, our Heavenly Father has sustained and strengthened us in ways beyond our greatest hopes.
We’ve kept ourselves busy reading our Bible, teaching it to our children and listening to sermons on the internet.
Christian life has become for many of us a solitary journey; not because we are plainly “church quitters” but sadly because of the lack of sanctity, knowledge of the Scriptures and faithfulness to the Lord in churches nowadays.
As I reflect on the Colorado incident, I keep asking myself, “Where are the people of God in that city?” Could it be that James Holmes, the 24 year old murderer had a Christian neighbor who was too busy living for himself and didn’t care to talk to him about Jesus, or at least hand him a Christian tract?
Or maybe he lived close to a church, as I do, only they were too busy in church gatherings and celebrations to have time to knock at James’s house?
Or worse than that, maybe they were, like a church I watched in the internet, planning a flash mob dance for supposed worship to the Lord; while James Holmes carefully planned how he would send people to hell (or heaven) last Friday?
What a pathetic state of affairs! How much we have failed the Lord and our neighbors! Oh, that God would have mercy on us!
I recognize that what I have just written could seem extremely impolite, even judgmental, but I’d like to dare those of you who are true Christians to live for the Lord, not just every day of your life, but every single second. When you eat, work, and enjoy free time, when you talk, think, and plan; do everything around God.
To live for His glory is to glorify Him in any capacity, with any gift that He has given to you and communicate to others about His great salvation in all possible ways.
The Lord instructed his disciples to pray that the Father would send more laborers to his ripe field; we not only have to pray for it, but to be part of it and save people like James Holmes and his victims before it is too late.
May the Lord touch your heart in the same way that He has touched mine. May your light start to shine again!