God on the Ground
JR. Forasteros - February 26, 2017
God on the Ground
From Series: "The Prophets & Poets Mixtape"
What does it mean that God is FOR the world? Epiphany is the season that celebrates the revelation of God to the world. Epiphany asks, Who is this god who came among us? Like the mixtapes young lovers used to make, we’re listening to the songs of God’s prophets and poets because such a powerful love can really only be expressed in song. The soundtrack to God's good news is now playing!
More From "The Prophets & Poets Mixtape"
What is your most memorable mountain-top experience? One of my most significant was in the Holy Land on an actual mountain – the Mount of Olives. My friend Thomas and I were retracing Jesus’ steps, and we came over the mountain to look down at the city of Jerusalem – it was a scene Jesus experienced several times in the course of his ministry and for me it was one of those moments that the veil between heaven and earth felt a little thinner than usual. I felt God near to me in a way that was unusual, special.
That’s what a mountain top experience is – for many of us, those moments have happened in a church building, in a time of worship. Maybe it was an altar call or during a particular song. Maybe it was some kind of event – a rally or retreat. For others of us, that veil gets thin when we’re in nature, when we’re unplugged from the chaos of the world around us and suddenly, on the trail, at the edge of the ocean, on a literal mountain top.
For those of us seeking God, we often look in those special places – in worship or maybe in nature.
In times of crisis, we flock to these mountain tops, hoping to encounter God, hoping the veil will be thinner and we’ll encounter that source of life, hope and love we crave. While you can find God in the mountain tops, that’s not only where God is – in fact, that’s not even mainly where God is. The story of God is of a deity who doesn’t live on mountain tops, but on the ground, with us in our everyday world.
Looking for God on mountain tops is one of the oldest human impulses.
In our earliest days, when we thought the sky was a dome, mountains were the pillars of the earth, holding up the heavens. The Babylonians wanted to build a tower to Heaven. The Greek gods lived on Olympus. And the Canaanites worshiped at their high places. Mountain tops were the bridge between heaven and earth, the place where the veil was thinner and humans and gods could interact.
But while the Bible does have some mountaintop encounters with God, the good news of Scripture is that God doesn’t stay on the mountain, distant and removed from us.