On the Mountain Top


Theme: Mountain top experiences prepare us for the valleys of every day life. - 1st Sunday before Lent
Object: Some beautiful pictures of mountains
Scripture: After six days Jesus took Peter, James and John with him and led them up a high mountain, where they were all alone. There he was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them. And there appeared before them Elijah and Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters--one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah." Mark 9:2-9 (NIV)

I have some beautiful pictures to show you this morning. They are pictures taken of some of the most beautiful mountain peaks you can imagine. Have you ever taken a vacation in the mountains? Of all the vacations that I have ever taken, the ones that I enjoyed the most were the ones that I took in the mountains.

Why do you think people enjoy vacationing in the mountains? One reason I enjoy the mountains is that I want to get away from the heat we so often have in West Texas. In the summer months, the heat can become almost unbearable at times and it feels good to get up into the cool mountain air.

Another reason I enjoy vacationing in the mountains is for the beautiful view. When you are down in the valley, it is often difficult to see and appreciate the beauty around you, but from the mountain top, you can clearly see all of the beauty of the world below.

One more reason that I enjoy vacationing in the mountains is to get away from hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is good to get away from the pressure of work and busy schedules, and just sit back and relax.

Did you know that even Jesus enjoyed getting away for a mountain retreat? The Bible tells us that one day Jesus took Peter, James and John high up into the mountains so that they could be alone. While on the mountain top, Jesus' appearance was changed and his clothes became a dazzling white. Then the disciples saw Moses and Elijah talking to Jesus. Peter became so excited that he told Jesus that he thought they should just stay up on the mountain.

Did Jesus and the disciples stay on the on the mountain? No, Jesus knew that the purpose of their experience on the mountain top was to renew their strength for the difficult days that were ahead of them, so he led the disciples back down into the valley.

You and I sometimes need a vacation in the mountains to help us cope with the heat and stress of our every day life. We also need mountain top experiences in our daily walk with Jesus. We need those experiences to renew our strength for the difficult tasks that we face as we follow Jesus each day.

Dear Jesus, we are thankful for the wonderful mountain top experiences you give us to renew our strength for our daily walk with you. Amen.