On the Mountain Top

Theme: Mountain top experiences prepare us for the valleys of every day life. Transfiguration Sunday
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 9:2-5 (NIV)

I have some beautiful pictures to show you this morning. They are pictures of some of the most beautiful mountain peaks you can imagine. Aren't they beautiful? 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? There are several reasons. One reason is that they want to get away from the heat. In the summer months, the heat can become almost unbearable at times. It is refreshing to go up into the mountains where the air is cool. Another reason is to enjoy 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 the beauty of the world below. Finally, many people enjoy vacationing in the mountains to get away from the 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. When we are enjoying a get away in the mountains, we sometimes find it hard to go back to our day to day life.

Did you know that 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 changed. His clothes became a dazzling white, whiter than any bleach could get them. Then Elijah and Moses appeared and began talking to Jesus. Peter exclaimed, "Teacher, it is wonderful for us to be here! Let's build three shelters -- one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah." Then a cloud passed over and covered them. From the cloud came a voice saying, "This is my Son, and I love him. Listen to what he says!" Then when they looked again, they saw only Jesus.

I imagine that Peter, James, and John would have been happy to stay up there on the mountain top, but did they? 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 from the mountains 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 Father, we are thankful for the wonderful mountain top experiences you give us to renew our strength for our daily walk with you. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

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