Scripture has several stories that revolve around things happening at the top of a mountain. The Lectionary talks about two such stories this Sunday, one in the Old Testament and one in the New. In Exodus we read about Moses spending days and days on a mountain with God. In Matthew we read about Jesus, Peter, James and John spending a much shorter time on a mountain but being joined by Moses and Elijah. These are extraordinary experiences and have given rise to the expression “mountaintop experience.”
A mountaintop experience is when you find yourself almost overwhelmed with an experience which resets who you are or who you think you are and sets you on a new and better path. They can happen anywhere, an actual mountain is completely optional, and have happened to many of my friends and acquaintances. But what do we make of them? How do we grapple with something that seems so amazing. We have the example of Peter who wanted to camp out on the mountain and just stay there, but is that the best response? Not to give too much away, and I hope you listen to one or both sermons anyway, but that is not the best response. We can’t stay on the mountain and not because we’ll run out of food. We need to take these experiences and let them inform the rest of our world. We need to share what we have learned and who we are now with our friends, family and everyone we meet.
Knox Presbyterian Can we stay on the mountain?
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Can we stay on the mountain?