Come down from the Mountaintop

Lou Lotz

READ : Luke 9:28-36

“Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings.” (v. 33)

A few years ago I climbed a mountain in the Grand Tetons, in Wyoming. I sat on the summit, savored the view, devoured a cheese sandwich, drank some coffee from a thermos. Then I began my descent. You don’t stay long on a mountaintop. Mountaintops are inhospitable places. It’s cold up there. Your body aches. Breathing is difficult. Nobody would ever want to stay on a mountaintop.

Except Peter. “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings.” Christ’s countenance is shining like the sun. His clothes are “dazzling white.” It’s a moment of holiness and majesty, and Peter doesn’t want it to end. “Let us make three dwellings.” Peter wants to stay on the mountaintop. He wants to prolong the experience.

Bad idea. Peter made this comment, says Luke, “not knowing what he said.” Jesus, Moses, and Elijah don’t need dwellings. You can’t take something radiant and stuff it into a box.

The danger in our mountaintop experiences is that we try to freeze them and make them permanent. And so a life which might have been a voyage of discovery and growth instead is chained to the past. A mountaintop is a nice place to visit, but you don’t want to live there.


Lead me onward, Lord.