Switzerland is known for many things like cheese, clocks, cows, chocolate, and mountains. It is these mountains that I can’t get out of my mind today. The most noted peak is the Matterhorn. For the past few days we have seen many faces of this stunning monument from our room in a Swiss village near it. Today we took a cog railway up it’s steep slopes to do some hiking. It is not the tallest mountain being only about 14,300 feet. Even our Mount Rainier is taller; but the Matterhorn is unique around the world because of it’s location and shape. Literally thousands come to see it daily.
Men first conquered it in 1865 as parties from Italy and Switzerland raced to be first. Sadly, the winning party soon lost four of their seven man team on descent when a rope broke and they plunged to their death. When asked why people climb mountains the most common answer is, “Because it is there.” I can’t say there are no good reasons for climbing that don’t somehow benefit human flourishing. But I do think that mountains like the Matterhorn have something to say about why they are there.
As Nancy and I watched the sun come up this morning it was as if the mountain awoke and Matterhorn’s icy stone finger appeared out of the fog pointing upward. It was silent but the message to me was clear as I thought of the first three verses of Psalm 19.
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard.”
The inspired words of Scripture are saying that all of creation is telling us that God is real and is revealing His reality and glory through the sky, mountains, sea and all creation. There are no audible words heard because the message is obvious. God is not in the trees, mountains, sky or sea as a pantheistic view would suggest. Such thinking only results in worship of those things God created and not the Creator Himself. But creation speaks in silent words with each sunrise or sunset hearlding God’s great glory. This morning when the Matterhorn appeared out of the clouds it was like the mountain was pointing to her Creator and calling me to be assured He is real and to be worshiped as the Lord who is all glorious.
So if you climb the mountain just because it is there then you have missed the point. He put that mountain there as His “Natural Revelation” as theologians call it. He reveals Himself to be alive by all He has created. The remainder of Psalm 19 from verse 7 on is God’s Special Revelation which is the Scriptures. Verse 7 starts out with “The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul.” It is the words of God as given in the Bible that convict us, direct us and call us to worship Christ ultimately. So next time you see a mountain take time to read Psalm 19 all the way through.
Pastor Mark and Nancy
Just taking time to celebrate 50 years of love for God and each other.