Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ascending the Mount with the Master...

Though I grew up believing fully in the divinity of Jesus, it was scenes like this, when Jesus went apart (or with the disciples) to pray, that had the greatest impact on me. Here was "just a man" who "needed the Mount" just as I did...and do. And yet, as Rev. Tilden points out, we are kept from the mount by our self-sufficiency or our self-distrust (and often both at the same time.) Our minds and hearts are often pretty "noisy valleys" and we need a good climb.

"THE MOUNT OF OLIVES (Scripture Readings)

AND in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
And in the day time He was teaching in the temple; and at night he went out, and abode in the mount that is called the Mount of Olives.
And all the people came early in the morning to him in the temple, for to hear him.
And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.
And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the Mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him.
And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation.
When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.

Malt. xiv. Mark i. iii, Luke xxi. xxii. John vi.

THE MOUNT OF OLIVES (Tilden's Meditation)

IF Jesus, pure and exalted as he was, needed the Mount, how much more do we, weak as we are, dim of vision, easily tempted, so liable to fall ? Our Mount of Olives becomes the Mount of Vision. It faces the City of God; it overlooks the valleys of trial, and the plains of daily toil. From this height we never see life a failure. The valley where we live is so full of noise that the higher call gets faint response; but when a Divine Power lifts us to the Mount, the echo of that call comes sharp and clear from every peak of our soul's range. What should we do in sorrow, if there were no Mount of Olives we could flee to for comfort ? Our Gethsemane is here; and, if we follow the old familiar path trod by the Man of Sorrows, we, too, shall find strength. Who so strong or so weak, who so wise or so foolish, who so self-sufficient or so self-distrustful, as to feel no need of ascending the Mount with the Master ?"
Go up higher and many blessings.


David G. Markham said...

Hi BU:

The colloguial expression "to rise above it" indicates the need to pull back and get things in perspective. To commune with our higher nature and divine connection is important in spiritual growth.

When my children were killed I constantly thought of the old spiritual, "I've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord. Trusting in His holy name, He's never failed me yet."

Jesus found strength in communing with the Spirit whom He is reported to have called "Abba", Daddy. I don't need a Daddy, but I do need a strength greater than my own and in this I have faith.

Thank you for your post.

All the best,

David Markham

boston unitarian said...

Hi David,
Thank you so much for writing-your experience from such suffering is so powerful. Though I have never endured such a loss, I am more and more aware that my own efforts to "ascend the Mount" get me almost nowhere and reliance on a greater source of strength is central.
Thanks again and many blessings, BU