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serving jesus christ the king

Mountain Climbing

Someone said to me the other day about the different religions, “We’re all just taking different paths up the same mountain.” It sounds profound, it sounds magnanimous – but is it the case?

What if the mountain is too high for any man to ascend? What if it is too steep? If that’s the case what’s the use of religion? A moment’s reflection will show that the mountain must indeed to be too high – if we are seeking to be acceptable to God, and God is perfect, how then can we who aren’t perfect be acceptable to a perfect God? The mountain is just too steep.

But what if God isn’t at the top of the mountain? What if God came down the mountain so we wouldn’t have to climb? Well that would change everything, wouldn’t it? No point climbing if there is a much easier route. No point in climbing, because the further we climb, the further from God we get!

That’s exactly what the Bible teaches.

Real Christianity isn’t about trying to climb the mountain to God; real Christianity is about God coming down to us. That’s what Jesus was doing on the cross – paying for our sins so that we wouldn’t have to. We need to turn from our own efforts and turn to Jesus, and put our trust in him to make us acceptable.

Poetry isn’t my particular thing, but I came across this poem that sums it all up:

O long and dark the stairs I trod

With trembling feet to find my God,
Gaining a foothold bit by bit,
Then slipping back and losing it.
Never progressing; striving still

With weakened grasp and faltering will,
Bleeding to climb to God, while He
Seemed not to notice me.
Then came a certain time when I

Loosened my hold and fell thereby;
Down to the lowest step my fall,
As if I had not climbed at all.
And as I lay despairing there,

Listen.... a footfall on the stair,
On that same stair where I afraid,
Fumbled and fell and lay dismayed.
And lo, when hope had ceased to be,

My God came down the stairs to me.

Religions may be about climbing mountains to find God, but Christianity is about God climbing down to find us.