There’s a stretch of I-77 in Virginia that winds through the mountains and offers a spectacular view of the land stretched out below. Unless the mountaintop is shrouded in a thick, cloud-like fog. Then, traffic slows to a white-knuckle crawl as drivers carefully watch for S-curves and semi-trucks ahead.
Images of clouds and mountain tops come to mind easily in reading this Sunday’s scripture passages. Moses enters the cloud in the Exodus story, and in the Matthew reading the voice of God emanates from a cloud over the mountaintop where Jesus has climbed with Peter, James and John.
Majestic, mysterious, awesome – and potentially disorienting — things happen on those mountaintops. And yet they are not the climax or the end of these stories of encounters with God.
The Moses story marks the beginning of a new chapter in God’s relationship with his people. The same is true as Jesus heads down the mountain to begin his journey to Jerusalem and to the cross. A journey we all begin anew next week with Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
– Pastor Mark Rollenhagen