Have you had a mountaintop view?
The Jasper SkyTram boasts the best views in Jasper, Alberta. For less than $50, the SkyTram will whisk you to the summit of Whistlers Mountain where you can drink in a spectacular vista of the Rocky Mountains. This meager fee saves tourists from making the dangerous and time-consuming trek up the mountain.
In 2008, my husband and I were relatively young, adventurous, and thrifty. We thought, “Why would we take the tram when we can hike up the mountain AND save money?” There is a reason most people opt for the tram. Hiking mountains is no stroll in the park – it’s hard work! As we ascended above the treeline, we soon realized how unprepared we were for the task. Even though it was a warm June day, we found ourselves wading through hip-deep snow while racing against unexpected storm clouds rolling in our direction. Too far up to turn back, we persevered until we reached the peak.
Staggering over the top, we were stopped short by the view. At 2,277 meters above sea level, we saw it—one glorious, amazing view of God’s good creation.
Mountain of the Lord
The prophet Isaiah appreciates breathtaking mountaintop views. In his vision, he sees the mountain of the Lord as the highest of elevations, with the nations walking up to the summit – together. God’s temple is the epicenter of peace and righteousness.
Is Isaiah’s description mere fantasy? No, this is a view from God’s perspective where the real meets the ideal.
If we hop on Isaiah’s text like one would the SkyTram, then yes, Isaiah’s vision seems surreal. But there is a world of difference between taking the tram and hiking. Ascending a mountain requires all your attention. You have difficulty finding the path, your foot slips on loose rock, you experience fear when storm clouds appear on the horizon. As you climb, you are reminded of your frailty and dependence on God.
Most importantly, the climb reminds you that the destination matters. Hiking a mountain focuses your gaze forward and upward as you press on to the summit. The climb prepares you to recognize the journey’s goal. Alone, it is easy to get lost on a mountain.
The season of Advent reminds us that our destination is God’s mountain and we are called to climb this trail of peace together.
What part of your relationship with God feels similar to a mountain climb?
is co-pastor at Grantham MB Church in St. Catharines, Ontario.
This entry from the MB Seminary 2019 Advent devotional, As We Wait, is presented here with permission.
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