Climbing in Glencoe last weekend provided for some arduous ascending and stunning views. The sense of scale was also made very clear. Human beings are small creatures compared to mountains.
Why do we do these things? A challenge for some or a passion or possibly both.
The sense of accomplishment is also tangible. To put your finger on the stone at the very top feels great. Like the prestige moment in a show.
Yet we don’t stay at the top but come back down. The visit to the top can be remembered and no doubt shared with other people. It could be a definitive climb for someone.
This Sunday is the first in Advent. Christian people begin the pilgrimage to the manger. Remembering that the great work of the Gospel is not man’s ascent to God in heaven by keeping law or rituals but God descending down to earth. I use up and down as figurative terms not literal ones.
This descent was for a time as well. A lifetime to be precise. Yet it was one that changed everything. As the Christmas Carol states “He came down from heaven above who is God and Lord of all”.
God’s great work didn’t happen in a place where a few fit people get to but where all of us live, the valley floor. But for those who truly recognise Christ the same hymn says, “and at last our eyes shall see him, to the place he is gone.”
Truly a gift worth receiving, and it’s free.