Season of Creation: Mountain Sunday reflection
Have you ever wondered why gods live in the mountains? In many traditions around the world, gods are associated with mountain tops, and mountains are regarded as sacred space and holy ground.
The clear air, the far view, the beauty and power of mountains, the threat of volcanos, the source of rivers, and irrigation and seams of gold, the challenge and inspiration —all these are symbols of the creating and destroying, life-giving and life-changing attributes of that which we call God.
Why do gods speak from mountains, promising, challenging, inviting a response? Perhaps our collective ancestors created gods from living in the shadow of mountains and, for them—as for Ecclesiastes—Elohim and Nature were the one and the same.
When we care for the earth, we form God from alluvial soil and breathe into the nostrils of God the oxygen of replanted forests and unpolluted seas.
When gods speak, it is the earth’s voice we hear.
This section is an extract from “Good News form a
Creation Bible Study - Session 4
Frequently in the Bible, prophets had visions of an ideal future, a world where the turmoil of war would cease, a world where the dreams of the past would be realised, a world where God would create peace and harmony throughout creation.
The opening lines from Isaiah speak of God ‘creating new heavens and a new Earth’. …Creation continues in the present and the future… ‘new heavens and new Earth’ could just as readily be translated ‘new skies and new land’. The prophet is talking about the physical world [which] includes everyday houses, vineyards and vegetables gardens. The new creation is a transformation of this creation…
As the last verse indicates, all of this transformation happens on ‘my holy mountain’… The holy mountain is the sacred place where God chooses to be present in a special way.
This part of our worship we call “the reflection”. Today, I invite you to reflect—in a time of comparative silence, of images and sounds and sensations, of stories shared but not spoken.
In this time, reflect, on the good news of a transformed creation, a
new heavens and a new earth—and on the work already being done to preserve and restore special spaces—and recognition
Reflect on the challenges of creating earth and god and humankind—in our image of what is good and beautiful, just and righteous, worthy of worship and celebration.
[powerpoint and music]
Perhaps gods live on the mountain tops because they’re still less crowded.
Despite skiers and mountaineers, expeditions and thrill-seekers, there’s room for gods on the mountains.
Perhaps—in the starkness of rock and the crystalline purity of snow—the voices of God can be heard more clearly.
May we listen to the voice of the holy mountain, telling good news of redemption and transformation.
So may it be.
© Bronwyn Angela White (2009)—
This work by