Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Lure of the Mountaintop

(Click the title of the blog to hear Amy Grant singing about the mountaintop)

Some days I get sick of people. I mean, when I have too much of people and I want to go to the mountaintop. Yes, I want to be a monk in a mountain top monastery with thick outside stone walls (you know, protection against the Viking a.k.a. the Barbarians). I then would be safe and I wouldn’t have to deal with that many people. I’d raise carrots, tomatoes, and strawberries and none of them would speak back to me. Being more or less alone I’d clean up my act, not really but I think I would.

We think isolating ourselves from a sinful world would make us better and happier. I think the opposite happens. We could think we are safe from the influence of sin (the influence of others). Yes, on the outside we would look good unless we honestly deal with our sin, inside our heart. Escape from reality has been the sanctuary of many in the church over the years. We hide out until the perceived danger is past. At best, this is naïve and for many Christians this is all they know. Isolation from a hurting world, smiling and slapping each others back in the Christian ghetto is all we know, and we love it.

Peter, James, and John went with Jesus to a mountain top but for other reasons. The purpose was for the transfiguration of Jesus. The purpose of the transfiguration was to reveal the full glory of the Son of God. It was to be an encouragement to the disciples in future, sealing in their mind the truth that Jesus and God the Father are one.

Peter likes the idea of being on the mountain top and He wants to stay there; sound familiar? As it were, he told Christ, “Let’s camp out here.” Christ never answers his question; Christ goes down the mountain and it says in Luke 9:37: “The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him.”

Jesus and His disciples did not campout on the mountain top, they went down and ministered among the people. We are to minister among the people not hold each others hand and sing “Kum Ba Yah” around the campfire. We need to get off our mountaintops and get our hands dirty.

A story is told of a priest in a small village who wanted to be closer to God so he climbed up to the top of the church steeple. He looked to the sky and cried out, “Where art thou God?” And God replied, “Down here among my people.”

God bless us, keep us, and use us in these days. Break camp; dare greatly and go to work.

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