As Christians, we long for experiences of the transcendent that we believe will forever change our perspective on life. And so: Often, 2 Peter 1:16-21 is presented with the idea that Peter contrasts the visual mountain experience with the Word-based experience of heeding the “prophetic word more fully confirmed” (2 Pet. Thousands of people would say the answer is to stand on the “roof of the world,” the summit of Mount Everest. 1:16), so the Word is as a “lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pet. By now, it’s a Christian cliché: the mountaintop experience. Tabor, remembered each year on August 6, is one of the pivotal events of the Lord’s public ministry. Get free, daily and weekly meditation emails: Privacy Policy | Sitemap Henri J.M. For the disciples it was a “mountain-top experience” par excellence. The Danger of the Mountain Top Experience. Moses had an amazing mountain top experience with God. Nouwen Archives & Research Collection. He knows when he looks at the mountains that he was made for a high and lofty purpose. By Tristen Davis May 18, 2020. After the mountain top experience, God leads us into the valley. Finding Glory in Brokenness There is a phrase that is sometimes used called ‘the mountain top experience’ and it aims to describe a powerful Christian encounter with God. At least, that pattern held true for the likes of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus. We long for the mountaintop. Well I will share my interpretation and experience. Amazing worship experiences perhaps. There, Jesus’ “face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light” (Matt. But whenever and however it happens we say to ourselves: “This is it … everything fits … all I ever hoped for is here.”. The Apostle who once fell at Jesus’ knees upon a miracle of Christ (Luke 5:1-11) now offers His skill in tent-making to the transfigured Messiah (Matt. It may happen in church during a service or in a quiet room during prayer. Husband of Orlena. It may happen when we have an intimate conversation or a family meal. Mountain top experiences. Understanding the Mountain Top. families, individuals, church groups, men's or women's groups; anyone who feels the need to get away from the everyday rat race and experience the unique peace of the blue ridge mountains. If mountain top experiences become part of the rhythm of a young person’s life, then the effect of mountain top experiences throughout their lives will have a longer lasting and more potent impact. In today’s gospel text, the Apostles Peter, James and John had the most amazing mountain top experience; Jesus was transfigured before their very eyes. Mountains often had a significant role in God’s dealings with His people. A MOUNTAIN TOP EXPERIENCE. 17:4). It was something unlike anything they had ever seen. The mountaintop transfiguration of Jesus Christ was certainly a transcendent visual experience for Peter, James, and John. Just being in that kind of place was a frightening experience. The Transfiguration of the Lord Jesus at the summit of Mt. A time when suddenly God moved in a way you had never experienced. The people who saw mountain top experiences as personally normative or necessary lived and died on maintaining an emotional high. But our homes are in the valleys. The disciples have one more mountain-top experience that makes this perfectly clear. 17:5), and Peter and the disciples fall to their faces (17:6). Following this moment on the mountain, Jesus died on a cross, was buried, and rose from the grave so that you and I could have eternal life in heaven. 17:2). The Word communicated the fullness of the glory of God manifested to them. Moses lifted up his hands with the rod in it. T he little group of itinerant preachers had been trying for weeks to get a few days off for some "R and R." It wasn't just a couple of rounds of golf they needed, either, or a few days at some desert spa. Mountain Top Experience offers coach charter, 4x4 training, 4WD and bus tours for the Gippsland and Melbourne area. The veil of the carpenter’s humanity is pulled back for a moment and his divine nature is revealed. That’s because “mountaintop experience” is a figure of speech that comes right out of Holy Scripture. February 11, 2018. And if such an experience is to be sought after, how can the Christian be found on the mountaintop time and time again? Or times of retreat and prayer in which God seems so close, so intimate...times when we break through what a famous mystic called 'the … Mountains awaken in man the instinct for heaven. This is the experience that Peter, James, and John had on the top of Mount Tabor when they saw the aspect of Jesus’ face change and his clothing become sparkling white. The mountain top experience is always followed by the valley. To answer this question, it seems wisest to evaluate the mountaintop experience par excellence of Scripture, the transfiguration of Jesus Christ (see Matthew 17:1-3, Mark 9:2-13, Luke 9:28-36, 2 Peter 1:16-21). Proclaiming the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. Upon seeing Jesus shining as the sun, Peter offers a surprisingly casual – and perhaps clueless – initial response. Mountain Top Experiences Have you ever had an experience where you felt very excited and happy for several hours or even several days? This may happen when we stand on a mountaintop and are captivated by the view. But, maybe you say, “The church doesn’t hear the voice like Peter did. St. Louis, MO 63122, CANADA OFFICE “But Jesus came and touched [the disciples], saying, 'Rise, and have no fear' (Matt. 17:7)." In the Bible, the fundamental mountaintop experience in the Old Testament is called a “theophany.” “Theo” meaning God in the Greek language; “epiphany” meaning revelation. (Deuteronomy 34:29-34) Through His Word, Jesus presents grace to frightened disciples on the mountain. What is your ultimate mountaintop experience? If the bible is any guide, there’s no better place to meet the divine than on or around a mountain. all are welcome! And as we immerse our lives in the majestic glory of the Word of God, we never need to. The one time I climbed a mountain of any size, I was amazed at how long I enjoyed spending time just looking at the view in the distance, enjoying the air, and experiencing the warm sun. These moments are given to us so that we can remember them when God seems far away and everything appears empty and useless. This is the experience of the fullness of time. Matthew 17: 1-8 The Message (MSG) 17 1-3 Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Peter himself later recounts that the disciples were "eyewitnesses of his majesty” (2 Pet. To hide this, he would cover his face with a veil. Toronto, Ontario M5S 2R9, Phone: (416) 925-1932 Just as the Majestic Glory spoke on the mountain (2 Pet. That’s where we must reflect the Great Light we have received on the mountain tops of our spiritual experience. Yet, it seems that Peter actually does the opposite. This is the experience that Peter, James, and John had on the top of Mount Tabor when they saw the aspect of Jesus’ face change and his clothing become sparkling white. They wanted that moment to last forever (see Luke 9:28-36). In the English language we have the expression “mountain-top experience”. We all love our momentous mountain top experiences – those moments when we experience the power, love and grace of God in a way difficult to capture with words. I thought about Moses, who climbed the mountain to speak face to face with God. mountaintop religious experience, you see with utter clarity a vision of who God really is. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Father of 4 (David, Jenny, Elisha, Esther). Certainly, there is a rhythmic, ordinary nature to daily encounter with God’s Word. 1:20). Perhaps it was at a wedding, a graduation, the birth of a child, or the accomplishment of what appeared to be an impossible task. It is a place where you are on a natural high in the Lord and He ministers to your spirit man….a state of extreme well-being and happiness that … Some of us may prefer to not be confronted with such a frightening voice whenever our Bibles are opened. The Gospel of Matthew relates this scene to us. 1:21). Your mountain top experience may have been a memorable devotional event at a church youth camp or some special spiritual retreat. 214 - 95 St. Joseph Street With this idea, though, one final observation must be made. The Father speaks from the cloud (Matt. This is the experience of the fullness of time. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. Dr. David Rogne. Instead of presenting a contrast of experiences, Peter presents a parallel. We don’t have to fall away from Christ. It may have been while worshipping at youth camp, a prayer meeting, or maybe even during a normal day. 1:16). Perhaps it was on a special trip or retreat, a party or wedding, graduation ceremonies or working hard on a project that you felt passionate about - some time that was not ordinary but extraordinary in your life. A MOUNTAIN-TOP EXPERIENCE A sermon for Transfiguration Sunday based on Luke 9:28-36,( 37-43) By Rev. It may happen when we witness the birth of a child or the death of a friend. You know for sure that the vision is true. Since the first reported successful climb of that 29,000-foot peak in 1953 by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, more than four thousand different individuals have experienced the thrill. It was a starting place for God's greatest gift -- the gift of salvation. When we read His Word, the Majestic Glory of God speaks through His Spirit. This expression has originated from the Bible because of the dealings God had with His people on various “mountain-tops”. Our greatest battles are not won on the mountain tops of life but during the tough times while we are in the valleys. How can we reach this mountaintop?”. This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. So many of us begin to desire to leave God's mountaintop through lax engagement with God's Word because the experience feels so ordinary. Elijah’s Mountain Top Experience 1st Kings 19 On Mt. Man needs the mountains, for the heights are in his head and heart. Then in the valley, the enemy come to attack us. There, for Peter, the mountain-hearing of the Father’s Majestic-Glory serves as the paradigm for the church’s engagement with the Word of God. And slowly, the glory on Moses' face would fade. The believer’s present experience of hearing the Word of God parallels the experience of hearing the voice of God on the mountain. Just what is a mountaintop experience? I wasn’t so eager to leave the mountaintop. In the classic fantasy book by J.R.R. Scripture has many Mountain Top Experiences. God will provide a way out even when the enemy comes. While such fear is proper, it may and must be accompanied by hearing the other mountain-voice of the transfiguration. At some moments we experience complete unity within us and around us. Tolkien, The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins and his troop are travelling through a dark, dangerous forest infested with gigantic, poisonous spiders and all kinds of dark creepy-crawly things. As Christians, when we know what we have, we never want to leave the mountain of God. Associate pastor at Second RPC (Indianapolis). For Christians, it seems that anything from a relaxing woods retreat to a Mountain-Dew-induced sugar-high at a youth conference can gain the mountaintop moniker. Saturday provided him with confidence he needed for the big Grey Nomad trip later in the year. Just as the disciples heard the Word on the mountain (2 Pet. As the transfiguration reveals, the voice of Majestic Glory in the Word is a fearful thing. “A Mountaintop Experience With God” Mark 9:1-10. As cultures grow in wealth, birth rates typically drop. You may have had a memorable incident in nature … on a beach, hiking in the wilderness, a safari in Africa, yes, even climbing a mountain! A “mountain top experience” is like receiving a revelation, finally understanding a paradox, having an “ah-ha” moment, or coming into a new profound understanding and vision that before was not … 1:17). Mountain-top experiences are part of life - and they are often part of the life of faith. The disciples were reeling from the revelation that Jesus would suffer many things, be rejected and be put to death but would rise again (8:31). Moses would come down from the mountain top with his face shining, while the rest of the Israelites hide in their tents in fear. Here is our startling recognition: the Christian’s mountaintop experience is to come in contact with the Word of God. But how can we make the descent successfully? 1:19). Just as Christ shone before the disciples in radiant majesty (2 Pet. As a result, it forever defined who they were, and they were never the same. Mountains have made men marvel at the majesty of God's creation all through history. You have probably heard this more times than you can count, but Jesus came to break down the barriers of religion and blew open the doors for a relationship. 1:19). P.O. Mountain-top experiences. Abraham showed his faith to God by being prepared to sacrifice his son on a mountain top, now believed to be where… These experiences are true moments of grace. Soon enough it will be mission trip season, which is quickly followed by post-mission trip season! When we read His Word, the Majestic Glory of God speaks through His Spirit. When the Word is preached, the power and majesty of God are communicated to His people. Website by Candybox, USA OFFICE This sudden manifestation of the divinity of Christ and anticipation of his risen glory tells us of the role of mountaintop experiences – to remind us that things … And even beyond that He issues a call to complete surrender and commitment to self denial and complete obedience. Peter, James and John also had a mountain top experience. But then, everything about Peter’s mountaintop experience changes. They wanted that moment to last forever (see Luke 9:28-36). But what, biblically speaking, is a mountaintop experience? Many are of the insensitive variety, such, After clarifying among the three who the real hillbilly is (it’s the one who has goats), the guys get to the true subject at hand. Consider how Peter engages this question in 2 Peter 1:16-21. © 2020 Henri Nouwen Society. When we truly experience the Lord in our hearts, it can be like a mountain top experience which will keep us going … In later reflection, Peter described what he heard as the “Majestic Glory” (2 Pet. “Large” families become oddities. For growth, we have to come down the mountain and go into the valleys, where there is an abundance of … Oswald Chambers in his October 1st devotion, “The Place of Exaltation” offers keen insight into why we need mountain top experiences. Pastor Paul R. O’Neil. Mountaintop Experience is located 1885 feet above sea level No pets are allowed in this cabin Starter supply of toilet tissue, paper towels, bath soap and dishwasher detergent This cabin offers free guest access to the community pool and catch and release pond located in Wears Valley. For after the disciples fall in fear, the Divine Voice speaks again on the mountain. On the top of the mountain itself, you find mostly rock and dirt. 1:18), so the believer does well to “pay attention” to the Words of the prophets (2 Pet. Most of us have had a similar experience, maybe not as intense, but a “mountain top” experience nonetheless. To hear the voice of God is to be led to the mountaintop. The mountain top experience in Luke 9:18-36 provides some great fuel for reflection on the mountain top: Peter Declares That Jesus Is the Messiah. Peter didn't understand that this wonderful experience on the mountain was not a stopping place -- it was a starting place. You don’t find many needs on the mountain top, the needs are found in the valleys of life. But it seems that the visual experience did not generate the immediate fear and awe one might expect. The believer’s present experience of hearing the Word of God parallels the experience of hearing the voice of God on the mountain. To hear the voice of God in His Word is to be led to the mountaintop of glory and grace. Box 220522 No wonder Peter fell to his face. mountain top experience christian retreat was founded to inspire people to grow in love for each other and for christ. We all need those mountain top experience but we can’t stay there! People look at large families and make all kinds of comments to parents. How does a congregation go about evangelism. Toll free: 1 (866) 226-2158. But never forget that it is a rhythmic, ordinary encounter with the Majestic Voice of God speaking in His Word. 1:17), the words of Scripture are words “from God as … carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Pet. Carmel, in front of a multitude of the citizens of the Kingdom of Israel, Elijah, the lone surviving prophet of the Hebrew God Yahweh in the northern kingdom, successfully challenged the priests and royal patrons of the rival god Ba’al. To have a “mountain top experience” is a figure of speech that describes something similar. The air gets thinner there and the plants get scarcer, the higher one climbs up the mountain. We were talking Sunday how the 4WD now gives us the opportunity to see areas of Australia that was not available to us previously and I look forward to joining you and the Mountain-Top Experience team on another trip sometime soon. Here is our startling recognition: the Christian’s mountaintop experience is to come in contact with the Word of God. Like Peter we want never to leave it to stay on the mountain with the Lord and His proph- ets. It is here that we are tempted to complain even as the people did to Moses (Exodus 14:11-12). 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