Several years ago, Marco Rubio, U.S. Senator from Florida, and a former FCS parent, gave a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. In this speech he defined his perspective of the role of government in the United States. He said, “We have the opportunity, within our lifetimes, to actually craft a proper role for government in our nation that will allow us to come closer than any Americans have ever come to our collective vision of a nation where both prosperity and compassion exist side by side.” As a Christian school, existing in the political quagmire which defines America today, his words resound with truth from the Bible that we need to teach the next generation. It is the truth that true Christianity in America is best reflected when as Christians and citizens, we serve God and we serve others. Later in his speech Senator Rubio quoted a Bible verse and applied it to the responsibility that we as Americans have in the world today to other people and other nations. Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” His words represent the goal we have as a school and for our students. As a school we want to be different in such a way that our community sees that while we stand for the truths of God’s Word, we also care about the world and people around us. We want our students to be known, not only as Christians, we want them to be known as a positive force in the community.
Jesus taught in Matthew 5:13-16, “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Jesus declared that his followers were to be “the light of the world.” His use of this term indicates that his followers are to be different from the world. Nothing is so distinctly different as light and darkness. As believers we are to shine as lights in a dark world.
In our Christian school we seek to help our students come to know Jesus Christ as Savior, and then to allow Him to be Lord of their life. Ephesians 5:8, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.” We desire for them to stand out in a dark world in all they do, whether it is college, at the workplace, or in their neighborhood, and walk in a way that reflects their relationship with Christ. Representing Christ as the light of the world also includes the attitude in which they go about their day to day life. Paul told the church at Philippi, “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain,” Philippians 2:14-16.
The bottom line for us, and for our students is this, we are the light of the world. We must proclaim the praises of the One who called us out of the darkness. We must walk as children of light, and we must shine as lights in the world. Jesus illustrated that calling when He said, “A city set on a hill cannot be hid.” In the First Century world of Christ, people traveled in the daytime, they could see a distant city on a hill whose stone walls reflected the light of the sun. At night, the same cities would be visible from a distance by the burning lamps in the homes which shone light out their windows. A city on a hill could not be hid and neither can a genuine Christian. Of course, we want to see our students shine academically. Certainly, we want to develop young people who will become the future leaders in our community. Without question we want our students to be successful in whatever field that they choose.
But our ultimate desire is that while accomplishing all of those important goals, each student at Florida Christian becomes that light in a dark world, which points people to Jesus, and brings glory to God.
Robert Andrews, Ph.D.