A New Years Message for 1 January 2021 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. 5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. Luke 3:4-6
Mountains are a fascinating land feature. They are sometimes mysterious and brooding, and, at other times, placid and of great physical beauty. If there was a large mountain to which your attention was regularly drawn as a child, that mountain exists pure and serene in your memory as if burnt there with a hot iron. There was such a mountain in my youth – Fort Mountain. Unless the fog was very heavy, or the clouds very low, I could see that mountain every day of my young life. There was such a mountain that held a stronghold in the memory of my mother. She used to sing about that mountain . . . “Where the Mountains of Mourn sweep down to the sea.” It reminded her of her far away home filled with happy memories and devoid of sorrowful ones.
There are a variety of mountains mentioned in the Scriptures – the Mountains of the Lord (most often Horeb and Sinai); the Mountains of Moriah whereupon which Isaac was to be offered and the Temple was later built; Mt. Pisgah and Nebo from which Moses took a longing look at the Promised Land beyond Jordan Waters; and, the most important of all – Mt. Calvary upon which our Lord and Redeemer purchased our salvation with His life’s blood. Looking back on Mt. Calvary is not nearly as sorrowful as looking up that ascent from the perspective of our Lord.
Wicked men are sometimes referred to as great mountains: “10 Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. 11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 12 For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: 13 And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, 14 And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up.” Isaiah 2:10-14 These men are wicked as a result of inordinate pride.
The Kingdom of our Lord is also made reference to as a great Mountain that will fill the whole earth! As the Lord revealed through Daniel to the king: “35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” The Kingdom of God will defeat the emerging, manmade global world order and fill the whole earth with righteous governance! The Great Mountain of God will bring this to pass.
Remember those two mountains of the Lord I mentioned earlier above – Sinai and Horeb? Horeb was the Mountain of Mercy at which Moses saw the Burning Bush and the same at which the mercy of God was showered on the Children of Israel whose thirst was satisfied from the cleft Rock (Christ is that Rock of Horeb). (see 1 Corinthians 10:4) That Mountain of the Lord (Horeb) was the Mount of Mercy represented by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The other Mountain was Sinai – the mountain of law and judgment. Both mountains are Mountains of the Lord and of equal importance. Without the Law being satisfied for us at Mt. Calvary by Christ, we would yet be without the imputed righteousness of the Lord. Without the Mountain of Mercy (Horeb) that satisfaction could not have been made.
As we are descending the slopes of a mountain of sorrow, death, and uncertainty represented by this past year of 2020 A.D., remember that the mountains are subject to the Lord and His commands. We may not know what lies ahead on the next mountain that looms ahead in the year 2021, but it is enough to know that the Lord will bring us over that mountain as well. He is with us, and He will make every mountain low as He raises our Ebenezer – our Stone of Help – in all coming years until He comes again in the clouds of glory.