Yesterday in church we reflected on the great commission in our service. Ascension Sunday is a time for us to reflect on the ascension of Christ and his words of commissioning to the disciples. I noticed the way mountains are imaged in Matthew. On the mountain one gains the kind of perspective that is transforming... hence the great sermon on the mount... the transfiguration on the mount. Mountains are place we ascend to gain a larger perspective.
I noticed in our text that it was on the mountain that the disciples were transfromed from disciples to apostles... from learners to the ones being sent out to make disciples of all nations. I believe in the church today, it is important to move up to the mountain and be transformed from learners, hearers of the word and doers of the word to those who will go out and make disciples. We have a great and holy task to bring the gospel and the healing power of Jesus to others.
We need that in our church today. Often we see within a view from the ground. We do church that is comfortable for us, and use language that we all understand and patterns of worship that we have always done. But when we move up to the mountain, we see from a different perspective. From the mountain top, we can see the world and past our churchy culture. From the mountain top we can see futher... beyond the smallness of our own experience to the need that the world still has to hear and be transformed by a new relation with God.
Our task is not done, there is much injustice, much brokenness, much oppression... the call is yet upon us to move up in our minds from learners... and sitters in the pew... to the ones being sent out to work with Jesus through the Spirit and bring the gospel and the healing our world so needs.