From the earliest times, humans realized their view was broadened when they went up a summit of some degree. The higher they climbed the more they could see. When they were removed from the situation in which they found themselves down below and viewed whence they had come, they had a much better perspective on all that was happening in the valleys and lower places. There seemed to be a mystical quality to be elevated above the norm of daily life. |
Not surprisingly, they concluded gods lived on mountains and claimed to have occasionally encountered gods on mountains. From what we know and what we understand, it is an appropriate place for gods to live and where we might experience the holy. Removed from the daily flurry of activity, given the opportunity to observe ourselves and others and reflect upon what we see, we feel even more like gods when we climb peaks ourselves.
We have such a report in today's gospel reading. In Mark, we read of Jesus' transfiguration upon the mountain. In the story, the characters discover the living God high upon a mountain.. Not only is God in this high holy place, but they have seen and experienced God there. When each comes down from the mountain, he is transformed through his experience of God in that place.
Experiencing God on a mountain top is expected, and acceptable. However, what if we were to experience God in all places and in all times (not just on mountaintops)? What if we sought after God in the ditches of the world? What if we recognized God's presence in nature all around us? Surely God is present on the high hills of our world. But if God, the creator, is present, is that same creator God not also found in even the smallest microbe down here in the trenches of our lives? Perhaps our call includes seeking God where he will be found. If we are called to "seek and serve Christ in all persons," are we not also called to discover the one who wills to be found in all that our God has created?
Rev'd. Fr. Colin Humes