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Countryside on a Hill?
Photo: Steve Woods
Growing up in the church, I often heard the phrase or observed the mentality of “run to the hills.” Indeed the glorification of country living and the idolizing of the “simple life” seems a constant theme not only in Christianity at present, but society at large. And conversely I often hear cities ridiculed as places that only provide opportunity for lamblike saints to be led away from the fold. But as of late this concept has been like the proverbial scratching of fingernails on the chalkboard in my mind. And perhaps there is good reason.

When I read in the Bible about the Promised Land, never have I heard it referred to as the countryside of Zion or the pearly fields. No, it is the CITY of Zion and the pearly GATES. Throughout the Bible cities are not relegated to condescension and snide asides, but rather are seen as places of community, shelter and the centerpiece of civilized life. 

Reconsider the City

David did not dance in his BVD’s down a country lane; he danced in the streets of Jerusalem. Jesus was greeted as a savior not in the countryside, but as he rode into the city on a donkey. Perhaps these examples seem light in nature, but there is another reason to reconsider the city.

If we espouse that Jesus is the model to which we mold our lives, then I think we must remember that Jesus did not minister to where there were the fewest people, but to where there were the most. This is not to say that there is an absence of all ill within cities, but I believe that it is high time we change the dialogue and remember that there is high praise to be given the cornerstones of civilization. Its Biblical.

”For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come" (Hebrews 13:14).

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By Garrett Gladden. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture take from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ®.

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