Today’s Reading: Introit for the Fifth Sunday in Lent
(Psalm 43:3-5; antiphon: v. 1-2a)
Daily Lectionary: Genesis 49:29-50:7, 14-26; Mark 14:1-11
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! (From the Introit for the Fifth Sunday in Lent)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Throughout Holy Scripture, God does some of His most important work on mountain tops. God brought Noah and the ark to rest on the mountains of Ararat. God spared Abraham’s son, his only son Isaac, from sacrifice on Mount Moriah. God gave his Torah to Moses and the people of Israel on Mount Sinai. God dwelled with and for His people in the glory and the sacrifices on Mount Zion. As good as these things were, we haven’t even approached the summit of God’s mountainous grace.
For that we must hike to where the Torah, psalms, and prophets lead us: to Jesus, God’s incarnate mountain man. Jesus feeds the multitudes and prays on the mountain sides of Judea. Jesus is transfigured on a mountain top as He and Moses and Elijah talk about His exodus to come in Jerusalem. Jesus enters Jerusalem on Palm Sunday and prays with His disciples on the Mount of Olives before He walks His own Cross, and all of our sin, to the top of Mount Calvary, Golgotha, the peak of His glory, in crucifixion for you. So it should come as no surprise that when Jesus ascends to heaven, He does so on a mountaintop. And one day, He will return again so that what was written in the book of Hebrews will be fully seen and rejoiced in as we dwell on Mount Zion forever.
“For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. . . But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:18-24). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Almighty God, by Your great goodness mercifully look upon Your people that we may be governed and preserved evermore in body and soul; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
-Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz is pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Milton, WA.
Audio Reflections Speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Learn more about your favorite hymns and find the deeper meaning behind the text with Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns. The book includes devotional commentary and historical facts from forty different contributing authors on fifty different hymns. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.