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    Saturday 25th September 2021 – The mountains of Scotland

    Saturday 25th September 2021 – The mountains of Scotland
    September 24, 2021 Judith Simms

    For the next two years we have invited special guest writers to contribute our Weekly Prayers. This month, we welcome former MWiB President Jill Baker.

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    In our journey this month through the landscape of Scotland, finding the voice of the Spirit in some of the natural features of this beautiful land, how could we not end in the grandeur of the mountains?  These are the highest to be found in the British Isles with 282 peaks classified as ‘Munros’ (above 3,000ft) and so many more of all heights, shapes, sizes and accessibility – something for everyone!  Consequently, mountaineering is a popular activity in Scotland, both with residents and tourists.

    Generally this was not the case in Biblical times; mountains were viewed with fear and some suspicion, as dangerous places, inhabited by wild beasts.  [Read Psalm 121 closely; it isn’t saying that help comes from the hills, rather that, in the face of the danger represented by the hills, help comes from God.]  So the mountain top experiences of Abraham, Moses, Elijah and others take on a new depth of meaning – these heroes of the faith had been taken out of their comfort zone to encounter God in new and challenging ways.

    Similarly for Peter, James and John when they accompanied Jesus up the Mount of Transfiguration, perhaps that’s why, as Luke tells us (9:28–32), they were weighed down with sleep:
    28 ‘Now about eight days after these sayings Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray. 29 And while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. 30 Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. 31 They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. 32 Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him.

    Standing on any mountain summit, even the comparatively lower Perthshire peaks pictured above, the view can change in seconds as clouds swirl around, light and shade chase each other across the sky and undreamt-of possibilities can suddenly be opened up…

     

    God of the mountain, today, wherever I am, I hear your call to climb further into your glorious presence. 

    I feel unsure that I have the stamina, the courage, the will to follow you.
    Can I take the risk of leaving the safety of all that is familiar?
    Can I take the risk of allowing you to see what I am really made of?
    Can I take the risk of letting this moment pass me by?

    God of the mountain, today, wherever I am, I hear your call to climb further into your glorious presence. 

    I picture the cross, standing on a lonely hillside, your arms spread out in love and welcome:
    Keep calling me, gracious God, I want to stretch the wings of my faith and follow.
    Keep calling me, gracious God, I want to feel the strain of my confidence and follow.
    Keep calling me, gracious God, for I know that your grace will hold me in this adventure. 

    God of the mountain, today, wherever I am, I hear your call to climb further into your glorious presence.

    Amen.

     

    Prayers and images © Jill Baker.
    You can download a pdf of September’s Weekly Prayers here: