Did You Hear of the City on a Hill?

We LOVE music at our house. If we’re not playing music. we’re teaching each other music, or learning new music, or harmonizing with TV commercials and household appliances! I’m serious – we might be just a tad bit nutty!

But especially in the car, we love music.

Every once in a while, I break out an older CD and reminisce about how the songs still speak so much to me. For the past week or so I’ve been listening to Casting Crown’s “Come to the Well”, and one of my favorite songs on that album is called “City on a Hill”. It’s gotten all up in my spirit, too, let me tell you. Hold on, I’m about to get deep, folks! (Well, as deep as I get, ha!)


Have you heard it?

Did you hear of the city on a hill?
Said one old man to the other
It once shined bright and it would be shining still
But they all started turning on each other
You see, the poets thought the dancers were shallow
And the soldiers thought the poets were weak
And the elders saw the young ones as foolish
And the rich man never heard the poor man speak

It got me thinking. How often do we, maybe without even realizing it, see someone else who seems to us to be shallow, weak or foolish? And how do we treat those people? Do we talk about them behind their backs? Do we discount others because they don’t have what we do? Or because they don’t act as we think they should act?

And one by one, they ran away
With their made up minds, to leave it all behind
And the light began to fade, in the city on a hill…
Each one thought that they knew better
That they were different by design
Instead of standing strong together
They let their differences divide

This is what amazes me about the human race: we have the potential to do SO much good – but we get caught up in ourselves and what WE thing is best. Instead of celebrating our differences, and the way we each have been gifted or created, we group everyone into their own little categories. And by all means, don’t mess with the categories.

But it was the rhythm of the dancers
That gave the poets life
It was the spirit of the poets
That gave the soldiers strength to fight
It was the fire of the young ones
It was the wisdom of the old
It was the story of the poor man
That needed to be told

I submit this: that it doesn’t matter your age, your size, your talent, your handicap, your race, your IQ, your gifting, your shortcomings or your strengths! It doesn’t matter whether your house is always clean or it’s always dirty! It doesn’t matter whether you’re done with all your shopping a week before a big event, or you have to travel back to the store multiple times!

Celebrate the differences. Celebrate the dancers, the poets, the soldiers, the young and old, the poor and the rich. Look for opportunities to be changed for good by those around you. Don’t you think life would be better for it?

Come home
And the Father’s calling still
Come home
To the city on the hill
Come home

If you’d like to hear the whole song, CLICK HERE!

76 thoughts on “Did You Hear of the City on a Hill?

  1. Love Casting Crowns – our family loves music, too. I’m the only one that can’t sing, but that doesn’t stop me one little bit! 🙂

  2. I don’t have speakers so I can not listen to it-but the words definitely resonate with my soul. Without all the “differences” what a boring world this would be–

  3. This post really spoke to me. Just last night I was thinking about how I struggle with how others are perceiving me- permissive or weak, etc. because of some of the changes I am making. Choosing peace and positivity, mindfulness in parenting, on and on. Thank you for this post and also for the link to the song- I needed to hear it! I’m musical and my son enjoys it too.

  4. I love Casting Crowns! I don’t know as I’ve heard this specific song though. I’m going to listen to it right now!
    I love all of your points. I need to look at others and show love to everyone. It doesn’t matter who they are. I need to remember we all are not the same, we were all created with a different personality, purpose and strengths. I might be able to teach someone else something, but they can also teach me things.

  5. That is really beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing! I really like your blog- there isn’t a post so far that I wouldn’t recommend to anyone! 🙂 God bless! BTW, I really like listening to Casting Crowns too.

  6. I LOVE listening to music. Call me crazy, but I feel that emotions and my writing flows better with music. I’ve never heard Casting Crows until now. My genre of music varies depending on my mood. I can go from classical piano/strings, to rock/alternative, to pop. Thanks for sharing your song. 🙂

  7. I’ve never heard of them. They sound lovely! I’m more of a punk rock girl, but I’ll definitely pass this on. I have a few friends who really love this kind of music!

  8. I love casting crowns!! I hear the very often on a local radio station called “His Radio” and they play christian music. I haven’t heard of this song, but I have heard of them. Thanks for sharing! I have always wanted to get one of their albums. 🙂

  9. What a great song and a great application. I know many Casting Crowns songs but I don’t recognize this one. Such great lyrics. It reminds me of the verses in the Bible that talk about how all of the parts of the body serve different purposes and yet they are all important and need to work together for the body to function properly. Not one is more important than the other!

  10. I have never heard of them, but I do like the lyrics. I am a huge fan of music, and any song that can make people think about the good we can do for others is A OK in my book!

  11. “Celebrate the differences.” I love that and we would be such a better society if we would take a few minutes and celebrate our differences. Great post and food for thought.

  12. I’ve never head of this group, but love the lyrics. will be hitting play shortly and probably looking on youtube for more 🙂 Diversity should be celebrated more. We need to only look in the mirror, we are all imperfect with baggage and history, sometimes we need to be reminded that while others may be different we all have the ability to contribute to the greater good.

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