What is it about mountains that invoke a spiritual or religious response from us as human beings? Maybe the thinness of the air, the lack of oxygen, or the exhaustion when we finally reach the top? This past week the boys and I enjoyed a days with about 200 other brothers and sisters in Christ with Short Mountain Bible Camp. The sunrises from the porch were heavenly and the sunsets from the pavilion were divine. Thank you for praying for us as we joined College Side Church of Christ to invest time and energy into the faith of the next generation. “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” was a perfect theme message playing off the Toy Story movies to encourage kids to live out the relationship goals of Romans 12. It was a great mountaintop experience!
Scripture gives us stories of literal mountain top experiences that color our expectations for what it means to encounter the divine - Abraham and Isaac climbing together in an act of extreme devotion to God and experiencing the mercy of God at its apex. Moses climbing Mt. Sinai again and again to commune with God and to better understand not just the essential laws for the life of the community, but the rhythms and cycles of what their covenantal life together will be like in the Promised Land. Jesus climbing to the top of a mountain not to receive, but to give a new interpretation and understanding of those laws shaping our communal life together as Christians through the Sermon on the Mount. Mountain tops were certainly reminders of God’s great goodness!
The words of Psalm 121 came to mind as we gazed upon other hills from the peak of Short Mountain every morning and evening. May they inspire you as well as they remind you that the God of all creation watches over you whether you find yourselves in the mountains or in the valleys of life.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the Lord,who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved;he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.