Matthew 17:1-5 NLT
Six days later Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain to be alone. As the men watched, Jesus’s appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Suddenly, Moses and Elijah appeared and began talking with Jesus.
Peter exclaimed, “Lord, it’s wonderful for us to be here! If you want, I’ll make three shelters as memorials—one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
But even as he spoke, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy. Listen to him.”
The mountaintop in scripture symbolizes a connection, or encounter, with the Divine. Moses spent time with God and received the Law on the mountain. It was on the mountain where Elijah called on Divine power to best the 400 prophets of Baal. And out was on a mountain where Jesus was transfigured in front of Peter, James, and John.
I’m writing this post on the mountaintop as well. I’m at a men’s retreat up the Poconos on Pennsylvania. Nestled by a lake, I and other brothers looking to draw closer to God are spending the weekend up here.
The mountaintop is where you can get away from the crowd-not that many people there. It’s where there are no distractions; you can slow down and focus. And, the air’s rarefied up there, far above the pollution of life; everything’s much clearer. Such an environment can help one to encounter the Divine. It’s there you realize that authenticity is the only thing that will work.
The times we spent on fellowship and worship were a blessing for u s all who desired a more intimate walk with God. I was blessed to see the Spirit at work on one of our worship times. An afternoon hike on Saturday gave me time alone while on the midst of God’s creation.
The time is such that you could be like Peter and say, “Lord it’s wonderful for us to be here!”
However, we have to eventually head back down into the valley, to life’s challenges, to the mundane. Jesus had to go down from the mountaintop to complete his mission, Moses had to return to the children of Israel, and Elijah had to finish his prophetic ministry.
We need the mountaintop to recharge our spiritual batteries that life’s circumstances can easily deplete if we’re not careful. However, we cannot stay there forever. We would become detached from the world that needs us. And eventually we would become ineffective in expressing the Divine in our lives.
But we can still have our mountaintop experiences here in the valley. A quiet time in a park alone is good. At home with all the gadgets off (and the rest of your tribe asleep), you can have that time for you and God.
Thank God for the mountaintop! Makes handling the valley easier.