The other day, to welcome in the Exodus 90 experience, I decided to stumble my way up Mount Coolum. I basically exhaled my soul as I was climbing that mountain but it was certainly worth it when I got to the top.
These days, when we think about mountains, we think challenge or obstacles. Take the famous poet, Miley Cyrus, who said, “There’s always gonna be another mountain, I’m always gonna wanna make it move, always gonna be an uphill battle, sometimes I’m gonna have to lose.”
But when we look at the scriptures we get another interpretation of the humble mountain. The mountains of our scriptures give us a sense of the magnificence of Creation, and the magnificence of the Creator.
We don’t really hear about the struggle of climbing the mountain, but rather, we hear about the glory of God or the goodness of our Lord.
Today, our Jerusalem Bible translation gives us the word hill when it says, “seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill (Mt 5:1). The Greek word here is ρος oros which is better translated into mountain.
The scriptures don’t mention anything about how “out of breath” Jesus was when he started teaching. The focus was on his message and the teaching that followed.
Whatever we choose to focus on becomes the thing that has power over us. We will all, without doubt, experience uphill battles and difficult tasks as the year progresses. We can choose to focus on these mountains as challenging and arduous, or we can choose to look at them through the eyes of scripture.
The mountain is our meeting place with God. The mountain is difficult, but my eyes are on the Lord. The mountain helps me to learn more about myself as I draw closer to my Creator.
Today’s mountaintop experience with Jesus gives us words to embody. May we focus on being peacemakers, merciful and pure in heart as we journey through life’s ups and downs and choose the Kingdom of God in the midst of it all.