In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, and many nations shall come and say: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken.
For all the peoples walk, each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever.
On that day, says the Lord, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away, and those whom I have afflicted. The lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion now and for evermore. And you, O tower of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem.
Last Sunday, we read Mark’s story of Jesus really getting going in his ministry, travelling at breakneck speed, teaching, healing, praying and driving out evil from people’s lives and communities – the disciples struggling to keep up, and when they do, they are hurried on. “Let us go somewhere else – so that I can preach there also!” Next Sunday we are taken much later in the story of Jesus’ ministry where the glory Jesus is will be shared. But we are ahead of ourselves – it is not Sunday yet – and we are between hearing the call of Jesus to follow him, and fully experiencing the glory of God on earth, when every knee shall bow at Jesus’ name.
So take a moment look around your world, listen to its cries and see Jesus for whom he is – God, today among the people for whom He died. On Sunday, when the disciples get to the top of the mountain, and see Jesus covered in heavenly glory, they will think they have seen Micah’s prophecy come true – surely this is a glimpse of heavenly glory. But it is then, that their journey of Faith really gets going – as they are led by Jesus to Jerusalem to his crucifixion. In that horrific, wasteful, underserved death of God, we see beautiful, all-giving, grace. It is from here, the highest mountain of all, that love will flow.
As you read Micah 6 see all that comes from Jesus’ death – drawing together all peoples to hear God’s Way of Life, “that we may walk in his paths”, with justice, peace, and healing for people and nations, by the building up of a community of Faith, the raising up of the weak and vulnerable, and calling home the rejected outcasts.
Come, we have rested well – our Risen Lord is waiting with other sisters and brothers, and “we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever!”
When we are on one of life’s mountain-tops Help us to treasure and appreciate those moments of joyful celebration, achievement or deep spiritual experience. Gently lead us safely down the mountain-side, returning to the business and busyness of life. Lead us ever to the highest peak of all – the cross where Jesus died. Teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths. Help us be peacemakers and justice-fighters. May your Holy Spirit keep us going to “walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever”. Let us celebrate and rejoice the true mountain-top experience of the building up of a community of Faith, the raising up of the weak and vulnerable, and the calling home the rejected and outcasts, Then true dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem, the kin-dom of God, And at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow to recognise you as God of Love.
The Rev’d Kevin Watson, Yorkshire Synod and General Assembly Moderator