On This Mountain
Today’s scripture selection: Isaiah 23-28
Key verses: Isaiah 25:7
The church denomination in which I serve has a camp retreat center in Virginia. It’s nestled there in the mountains – and over the years – I have spent a fair amount of time there.
Now, don’t let anyone fool you. Church camp programs are not always about quiet reflection and worship. Take around a hundred kids, ages 8-18, put them in the woods together for a week – and something is bound to happen. Water balloons; sneaking out to play pranks; mud-football; snakebites and bee stings and the occasional broken bone – well, you get the picture.
But that’s not what camp is all about. It’s really about “going to the mountaintop” – and most of the kids and counselors with which I’ve worked over the years – won’t trade it for anything. There is just something about meeting God there, in the quiet, overlooking the valley below, that can’t be fully described. You just have to do it.
Isaiah must have known about this. Because he could passionately write these words:
“On this mountain the Lord will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations; He will swallow up death forever.”
I love that image. The “shroud that enfolds all peoples” will one day be lifted forever. He adds:
“Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD himself, is the Rock eternal.”
We can’t go to the mountaintop very often. Most days we just have to go on slogging here in the valley. But every now and then, by God’s grace, we make it to the top. And when we do we find that Isaiah is right. Death has no power and we can trust in the Lord forever. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Prayer: Father, thank you for those mountaintop experiences, whenever they come. May they remind me of your eternal, mighty presence. AMEN.