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I look to the mountains…

Imagine a week surrounded by mountains… the Rockies… the Canadian Rockies.  From one snow capped peak to the next, the views we enjoyed during our family vacation were awe-inspiring!  We saw those views from our first sip of coffee on the deck, to our drives from hike to hike, to peaceful moments sitting by a glacial lake with mountains reflected in the still waters.  The view never grew old, in fact, it often was so amazing it did not look real.  Oh, if only I could have that view out my kitchen window!  I remember when our family lived in the Seattle area.  The skies in that region of the country are often overcast; but when the skies clear, the mountains ‘come out’ to show their splendor.  A clear view through the trees might reward you with a glimpse of Mt. Rainier- a mountain so grand in size that it fills the whole southern view.  I love the pastoral beauty of the gentle hills we call the Pocono mountains, but they cannot compare to the grandeur of the mountains out west.  There is something about rugged mountain peaks that inspire… thus the expression from the Psalmist in Psalm 121- “I look to the mountains…”

Sir Isaac Newton once wrote that we can see the handprint of God in the creation.  Our family decided that God did some of His best work in the Rockies- the colors, the shapes, the grandeur. From peak to peak, and in every valley between, we caught a glimpse of God’s glory.  St. Paul wrote to the Roman Christians, “God’s invisible qualities- His eternal power and divine nature- can be clearly seen and understood in what He has made.” (Romans 1:20) What a gift to share those mountain days with a family that acknowledges God’s glory in the creation.  The Bell family began and ended our vacation in a simple act of worship- celebrating the glimpses of God’s glory that we enjoyed in His creation.  What a joy to surround our granddaughters with that witness of faith.  How important that witness will be as our girls begin to venture into a world that celebrates the creation more than the Creator.

In October, we will travel to Sedona for a family wedding.  Sedona is an Arizona desert town near Flagstaff, surrounded by red-rock buttes, steep canyon walls and pine forests.  The stark beauty of this location is also awe-inspiring.  Again, God’s creative Spirit has cast splendor upon the creation.  I look forward to catching another glimpse of God’s glory in His creation.  But I must admit that this destination was not chosen by the happy couple because it declares the glory of God.  It was chosen because it is the mecca of New Age spirituality.  They say that Sedona sits in the middle of a series of ‘vortexes’ that emanate with ‘spiritual energy.’  In 1982, a psychic named Page Bryant reported having a vision that identified the location of these ‘vortexes’, that she described as “geomagnetic points of swirling energy radiating from the earth’s surface.”  People who have visited these ‘vortexes’ report feeling inspired, renewed, even healed by the power.  The happy couple has chosen to make their promises to each other in between two ‘vortexes’, thus hopefully securing a happy, long life together.

Our nephew’s wedding in October will offer a stark contrast to our son’s wedding earlier this summer.  Our son and his wife sought the blessing of the Creator rather than the radiating energy of the creation.  Like the Psalmist, they find their “help” not in the mountains, but in the One who created the mountains.
Psalm 121 asks:  
I look to the mountains- where does my help come from?
The answer the Psalmist declares:
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
The Psalmist recognizes that the Maker is greater than what is made… the Creator is greater than the creation.  As spectacular and inspiring as the mountains may be, our help comes from the One who caused the mountains to rise above the earth.  Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the greatest composers of all time, signed every one of his compositions: Soli Deo Gloria- to God alone be the glory.  Bach understood that all that we have and all that we are is a gift, and all that we need comes from the Giver.  May we join with believers across the ages to declare our trust not in what is ‘spiritual’ but in the One who is Spirit, not in the powers and forces found in creation but in the Creator.

With you worshipping the Creator of all,
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