Week 19 Monday

On the Mountaintop

Today’s scripture selection: Exodus 21-24

Key verses: Exodus 24:15-18

“When Moses went up on the mountain, the cloud covered it, and the glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai. For six days the cloud covered the mountain, and on the seventh day the Lord called to Moses from within the cloud. To the Israelites the glory of the Lord looked like a consuming fire on top of the mountain. Then Moses entered the cloud as he went on up the mountain. And he stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.”

Mountaintops are beautiful places.  And, according to a number of religions, they are also sacred places.  Somehow it just makes sense that God and His people meet there, high above the strife of daily living.

Maybe that’s one reason so many have climbed up and up, over the rocks, beyond the obstacles, to reach the pinnacle of many a mountain.

According to tradition, it was on a mountaintop that a servant of God named Moses received the divine law by which his people were to live.

The Biblical story recounts how, once received, the people sometimes lived by that law – and many times didn’t.  But whether or not they were faithful to the covenant they had with God didn’t change things.  The law was sacred – holy – straight from the mountaintop to the people below.

It’s a great spiritual metaphor for our journey as well.

God’s law is God’s law.  It doesn’t alter.  It remains through the ages, as He does, holy and just.  And we have the constant choice of whether or not we will align ourselves with its precepts.

When was the last time you were, spiritually speaking, on the “mountaintop”?  When was the last time you spent some time in prayer with God quietly seeking His will?

Life down in the valley can be hard; confusing; tiring.  Maybe it’s time to spend a little time with the God who can help you sort it all out – on the mountaintop.

Prayer: Lord, give me the strength and the desire to meet you frequently, on high, in prayer.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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