When I was in the Scouting movement as a young teenager, I stood at the top of Mt Bartle Frere near Tully in North Queensland. This is the highest mountain in our state and the view from the south peak is extraordinary, with the splendor of the coastal plains and shore line extending far off into the horizon.
We use the phrase “mountain top experience” because we yearn for those high moments when we are lifted up beyond the everyday humdrum of life.
There is a “mountain top” story in the New Testament, where Jesus is “transfigured” and appears with the prophets, Moses and Elijah before the disciples: Peter, James and John. Peter wants to capture this moment and make three dwellings for Jesus and the two prophets.
But no sooner has Peter said this, when it all disappears with a voice from the heavens declaring, “This is my Son, the beloved, Listen to him.” Our Lord does not intend us to be caught up in the quest for “mountain top experiences”. Rather, we are reminded in the Transfiguration, that the Lord Jesus will be with us in the valleys. Mountaintop experiences may be in short supply but the Lord will walk with us and will provide for us in all seasons. The key matter highlighted in the story of the transfiguration is “Listen to him”.
We are about to begin the “church journey” to another “mountain top experience” which we call Lent. On this journey we will acknowledge that we are dust and to dust we shall return. We shall prepare ourselves to kneel on Good Friday at that mountain called Calvary and to confess with all humanity that he dies for our sin, that we would have peace with God.
God guide you along this coming Lenten season of 2021. The Lord is with us.