This is a revolutionary age. The hurricane winds of change are howling around the world. The human race seethes with unrest and rebellion. Our political institutions are polarized, divided to the left and right without any common ground in the center. Despite the signs of current prosperity, our debt-ridden, hair-triggered economy seems precariously balanced on the verge of collapse. We have barred and deadbolted our homes, making ourselves prisoners while criminals roam free in our neighborhoods, grafitti-tagging and shooting at random, filling our hearts with fear. With every day’s headlines, with every new atrocity or terrorist attack, we see more evidence that there is a very thin line which separates civilization from anarchy. We seem to be approaching not just a political breakdown, but a cultural meltdown. -Ray Stedman

Things don’t seem to change much. These comments were written in 1972 and as any student of history knows, similiar commentaries on the state-of-the-world have been made throughout time. As we said in a previous post, the basic human situation and the dangers confronting us as well as the work of finding solutions is a given in this present age of right vs.wrong.

So what is our highest priority? What is the one activity that stands above all the others that we can spend time and resources to fight this reality in which we all find ourselves in the middle of? This is my blog and you expect me to say what I believe is the answer to that, don’t you? I must show you that I have studied the question seriously and diligently and have in fact come to an answer that I do not hesitate to sign my name to. I have taken ownership of this as the answer and am spending my life and resources on it as the highest priority. And yes, it comes from the biblical story, the same story where I find the best answers to all my serious questions involving the basic issues of life and death, good and evil.

The two lights                                                      

You are the light of the world! A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” – Jesus, the Light of the world, to his disciples.

So I do not hesitate to declare to all who will listen, for the peace and unity of humankind, for the healing of the nations’ violence and poverty and corruptions of all kinds- the very best thing that can happen is for this light be as bright as it can be; this city of light be set on a hill clearly in every community of the world so that all that may see the light and be enriched.

The only human society I know that claims to be the Society of Jesus, the Jesus of the biblical story, and says their purpose and desire is to follow and obey Him, is the Church. So my answer is that the highest priority is to get the Church healthy and conformed to the original design of her maker so that she can be the source of power in the world against all these woes that cause death and destruction and untold misery. For the answer is not found in the Capitol Building or the city of Washington,D.C., nor in any earthly government, but only in the Prince of Peace and his city, the heavenly Jerusalem, as it is called in the biblical story. As she reflects the true Light and in turn shines it into every human culture and situation in the world, there is real hope. I send out an earnest plea for those of all Faiths not based on this same story, to pray for the churches you might be familiar with and to do all you can to hold them to their God-given mission to be the City of Light to the world. According to my personal faith, it will be the best thing you can do for yourself and for your people.

This is the highest priority for the Church and for the world.

(the quote is from Ray Stedman’s book on the Church-BODY LIFE ) READ the book on-line, another little paper-back classic.