What a view!
We climbed up Mount Benson and saw the city spread out before us, the ocean and mountains providing an amazing backdrop. From our vantage point we cannot hear the traffic, and everything looks so perfect. We do not see the homeless, or the teens looking for a safe place to hang out. We cannot see the stores closed because of COVID-19. We cannot see people struggling or families in crisis. It is so peaceful at the top of the mountain. Jokingly we say the only thing missing is a coffee shop!
We spend as much time as possible on top of the hill. We rest, eat lunch and chat with other hikers. We feed the birds and enjoy the warmth of the sunshine. Alas, all too soon it is time to wind our way back through the trees to our cars. Once again we are embraced by the hustle and bustle of the city, and the everyday struggles of the city stare us in the face.
According to Matthew 17, the Apostle Peter and the Apostle John climbed a mountain one day with Jesus and did not want to come down. There on the mountain Jesus showed them his glory and they got to glimpse at his Divine nature. Jesus was bathed in brilliant light and a voice came from heaven saying, “This is my Son, whom I love, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.” (Matthew 17:5) Peter is so overwhelmed he suggested they build shelters for Jesus, Moses and Elijah (who also appear on the mountain). He wants to stay on the mountain where all the problems of life seem so small and insignificant.
But Jesus takes them down off the mountain, into the village, and right away they encounter a boy possessed by a demon and a father desperate for help. Jesus ministers to the boy and his father, and the disciples realize that the ministry that overcomes the needs of human life happens in the valley, where they live.
We may not live on the mountain, but we are invited to go there! Every time we worship, or pray or meditate on God’s Word we experience the tranquility of the mountain. Jesus then brings us down the hill to minister to those in need. Enjoy the mountain top experiences, knowing Jesus is there, but know He is also with you in the valley, and it is where you will find people who need Jesus.
– Pastor Gary