Friday, March 29, 2013

A Lighthouse on a Mountain

On Mount Greylock, a Monument Rises in the Mist

In the clouds hanging on Greylock, Massachusetts' highest mountain, stands a lighthouse...


"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." -- Psalm 119:105

Walking up the trail to the top of Greylock in November of 2000, I stepped into a cloud. The top of the mountain, unseen, was covered with a frosting of heavy ice. Inching upward, I came to this monument at the summit. A war memorial, but also an allusion to local author Herman Melville, who wrote Moby Dick. When the monument was first lit you could see it for seventy miles on a clear night.


After the miraculous deliverance from Egypt, the establishment of the Passover celebration and the inspiration of Bezaleel and Aholiab to build the Tabernacle, Moses went up into a cloud on Mount Sinai. There G-d gave the law that would be a light to thousands of generations to Moses, but the people couldn't see what was happening on the mountain. They Turned Away [click to read] and made themselves a god of metal. Unable to visualize what they didn't see, they subjected themselves to foolishness.


On a hill called Golgotha, the man who said: "I am the light of the world." -- John 9:5 slipped into death.  And the people stood beholding. "And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself." -- Luke 23:35 Surely they felt that this was not the Messiah they had hoped for. Dying between two criminals, His body placed in the dark tomb, He was gone from them. His followers hid themselves away, fearing they would be killed as well.


What happened on that mountain, though unseen, changed history. "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." -- Hebrews 11:1. We now know the rest of the story, so it is easy to forget the need to retell the stories of promise. Revelation 21 [click to read] takes us to yet another mountaintop: "And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from G-d." -- Revelation 21:10 It is this unseen hope that must sustain us in the world we live in today.

...a war memorial and an allusion to author Herman Melville.

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