Christ Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to the mountaintop, and there they enter into a sacred space, into the spiritual world where they find themselves in the presence of the guiding spirits of their story: Moses, Elijah, and their Master, Jesus, now revealed as the Christ in his power and glory.
Martin Luther King, on the night before he died in Memphis, spoke in his last sermon like a Moses to his people; he spoke of being on the mountaintop and looking around and seeing the promised land, knowing that even if he as the human mortal that he was did not reach that land, that we all will reach the promised land. He knew this because his eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.
In this city, in the story we are in, which we have marked recently with the Martin Luther King Holiday and Presidents’ Day holiday, “holiday” originally meaning “holy day,” we might ask: if we, like Peter, James, John, Martin, would go to the mountaintop, and would enter the spiritual world. Who or what might we meet and see?
What a thought! To find ourselves in the presence of the guiding spirits of our story, in the presence of Washington, Franklin, Lincoln, Roosevelt, King…what a thought! They are not far away, just a little ways up, on the mountaintop which is not so high. To sense their presence would put the present, passing moment of the political drama we are currently in, in a very different light. It would help us see and know that we are in a much bigger, greater story than what is happening at this moment.
And that perspective, that mountaintop perspective, could give us not only freedom and distance from the superficial and small and passing, that mountaintop perspective can give us Faith, trust, commitment; Hope, perseverance, patience; Love, fire, enthusiasm, passion for the Great story, the great goals and Destiny and Destination we seek and strive for, we walk towards and work on: the promised land, the beloved community.
In a true sense, we do go the mountaintop every time we enact and celebrate The Act of Consecration of Man. It gives us, ever anew, that sacred vantage point, that Christ perspective that orients, that guides in freedom, that encourages, enlightens, strengthens, enthuses our souls, our spirits, our forces of life, for the Way On.
by Richard Dancey