Journey to Bethlehem Day 1
Sunday, December 1 Isaiah 2:1-3
1 The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
3 and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
Mountaintop experiences. Perhaps you have had one… or more. If not, I pray you will.
Mountaintop experiences are times when someone encounters God in a new, more intimate way. Frequently, one is captivated by God’s love or his beauty or his power. Sometimes these experiences happen at a retreat. But these moments can happen anywhere and at any time. Regardless of the setting, mountaintop experiences are transformational. Mountaintop experiences change us.
In the Bible, mountains and mountaintops have a special significance. There is almost always a link between mountains, worship and a fuller revelation of God.
Two moments stand out. There was Mt. Sinai where Moses encountered God in smoke and thunder and lightning. God’s presence was so overpowering that the entire mountain shook. And, of course, it was there, at Mt. Sinai, where God gave the Ten Commandments and the Law.
In the New Testament, Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. (Matthew 17:1-2) The glory (divinity) of Jesus was revealed… on a mountain.
So, in the Bible, mountains are not simply places. They are also moments of God’s revelation.
In today’s reading, Isaiah looked ahead and saw a time when mountaintop experiences will be universal. This will be a day when all people will stream to the mountain of God. That is, one day, all of the world’s religions will fall away. The one, true God will be known to everyone. God’s love and power and glory will be revealed to all people. In those days, every language, tribe and nation will join as one to enjoy the ultimate mountaintop experience.
Father, we long for this day. Please, do not tarry. Amen.