Advent Three – Tuesday

Isaiah 11:1-9

This summer, Sarah Wiles, the pastor at Bethany Presbyterian Church, preached a sermon on this text. She told a story that is very familiar to those of us who live in sight of Mt. Rainier.

When she and her husband were interviewing for the position at Bethany, they came to visit in early March, in the time of grey days and cloudy, weeping skies. Everyone they talked to said “Just wait until you see Mt. Rainier. It’s so beautiful.” Sarah and her husband nodded, and looked East whenever they were outside, but they didn’t see anything except grey skies.

They returned to visit and look for a house in May, and the skies greeted them with clouds and rain. Everyone again reiterated how beautiful the mountain was on clear days. They were beginning to doubt whether there was any mountain out there, or, if there was, they doubted it was as spectacular as everyone was telling them.

They found a house, returned to their previous post, packed up their things, and moved to Tacoma in early June. After settling in, she started working at Bethany, and then, one day, she was driving home and came around the corner – and THERE WAS THE MOUNTAIN! She almost drove off the road looking at it.

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Now, she knows that the mountain is there all the time, whether she can see it or not.

The mountain is like God’s love. Sometimes we can’t see it because it is hidden by events or the weather or some for some other reason, but it is ALWAYS there – beautiful, solid, lasting. And once you’ve seen it, you’ll never doubt that it is there just waiting for the clouds to clear.

They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea.