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Advent Reflection: The Highest Mountain of All

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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In the last days, the mountain of the LORD’s house will be the highest of all— the most important place on earth. It will be raised above the other hills, and people from all over the world will stream there to worship.

Isaiah 2:2

Intro from Mark: For centuries, the Christian season of Advent has enabled people to prepare for a deeper celebration of the birth of Christ. Through Advent, we can grow closer to God and experience his loving presence.

During this season, we invite you to join us in thoughtful expectation, as we share daily Advent reflections in this online space. I have written many of these reflections myself, and we have invited a few editors from The High Calling, along with other guests from our extended network, to share reflections during this season of Advent. Whether you use this guide for your personal time with God or as part of a family devotional time, we pray it will open your heart to knowing God’s love more deeply in this Christmas season and preparing to receive the greatest gift, the birth of Christ.

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People all over the world have a certain fascination with Mt. Everest. Though it isn’t an especially beautiful mountain, and though climbers say it isn’t nearly as challenging to scale as other lofty peaks, and though it’s difficult to reach even before climbing, nevertheless Mt. Everest draws thousands of people who pay multiple thousands of dollars to try to conquer its height. Why? For the simple reason that Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain on earth. At 29,029 feet, it surpasses K2, the second highest mountain, by 778 feet.

When Isaiah prophesied that “the mountain of the LORD’s house will be the highest,” he wasn’t predicting some massive movement of the earth that made Mt. Zion literally higher than Mt. Everest. Rather, the temple mount would be, figuratively speaking, the highest of all. It would be more important than any other place, such that people from the whole world would “stream there to worship.”

According to the New Testament, we belong to Jesus Christ through faith and we are God’s temple on earth (1 Cor. 3:16-17). We are the “place” where God’s presence is experienced. We offer to the world the Good news of forgiveness through Jesus. By our words and our deeds, by our distinctive living and loving, the world should be streaming to us, even as we are called to go to the world.

Sometimes this happens, especially when the people of God embody the truth and love of God in action. In parts of the world today, the church is growing by leaps and bounds. But, it would be an exaggeration to say that people throughout the earth are streaming to us as the embodied presence of God on earth. Thus, as we read Isaiah's prophecy, we long to see it fulfilled. We enter into the spirit of Advent, a time of yearning and hoping, a time of waiting for God to finish the work of salvation begun in Jesus Christ.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Are you living in such a way that people are drawn to God through you? Are you part of a church that lives magnetically in the world? How could you live today so that people might see God’s grace in you? Do you yearn for the day when all people will stream in to join the people of God?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for this lofty vision of the future. You seek not only the company of Israel, but also of all nations. The time will come when peoples from across the globe will be drawn to you. Indeed, that time is here, increasingly. How wonderful that people from formerly pagan countries are coming to you in such great numbers!

Yet, I recognize that the full vision of Isaiah 2 has yet to be fulfilled. Thus, in this season of Advent, I join with your people throughout the world in yearning for the fullness of your kingdom.

In the meanwhile, O Lord, help me to live as part of a “temple” that is the highest mountain on earth. Help my church to speak and live so as to draw our neighbors to you. Pour out your Spirit upon us afresh, so we might reflect your love and grace into this dark world. Amen.

Image by Trekking Rinjani. Used with Permission. Via Flickr.

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