May 15, 2022, “Climb Every Mountain” by Rev. Dr. Tom Eggebeen

Posted on May 16, 2022 @ 5:09 pm


Psalm 148; John 13.31-35


I’m not a mountain climber … at least of the physical kind … like Mt. Everest or K2 … or Mt. Kilimanjaro …

Though I’ve been know to make a mountain out of a molehill now and again … and maybe you’ve done that, too.

But, seriously, I’ve climbed many a mountain in my lifetime, and so have you …

Only one way ahead … climb the mountain.

Some mountains are climbed with ease …

Some require every ounce of strength we have, and then some.

Some mountains can never be climbed –

At least, all the way … they’re too high – we make peace with the mountain … it’s now a part of our life … we find how to live there, because God lives there, too, God with us, on the mountain!

Mountains play a central role in the Bible … Noah on Mt. Ararat … Abraham and Isaac on Mt. Moriah … Moses on the mountain for the 10 Commandments … God takes Moses to a mountain to show him the Promised Land … Elijah defeats the priests of Baal on Mt. Carmel … Jesus meets Moses and Elijah on the Mt. of Transfiguration … the  Sermon on the Mt … from the Mt. of Olives, Jesus enters Jerusalem.

Thomas Merton entitled his spiritual autobiography, The Seven Story Mountain.

Dr. Paul Farmer’s biography, Mountains Beyond Mountains.

Climb every mountain,

Search high and low,

Follow every byway,

Every path you know.

Over the years of ministry, I’ve witnessed some of the bravest people ever … taking on the mountains … a terrible medical challenge … an ailing spouse … a special needs child … the burden of personal issues – addiction, childhood trauma; personality quirks, quirks that bedevil us and frustrate our family and friends … mountains … life as it is, as it comes to us … climb every mountain.

A friend of mine parked his car, walked around behind it, another car drove into him, crushed his legs, cut them off … he had to learn how to walk on prosthetics, pain and difficulty … he’s a brave man, climbs his mountain every day, a mountain I can’t begin to imagine …

From a young lady in Michigan, the church I served … she writes:

And just like that… I’ve been paralyzed 19 years.

Sometimes it’s even hard for me to believe.  Today is bittersweet, but over the years I’ve learned that although many things may be out of my control these situations have taught me that I can still choose to have peace and joy. That life’s beauty isn’t limited to our circumstances. You just have to see it! 

This life isn’t always easy, no one’s is, but I wouldn’t choose to have it any other way! With every struggle and obstacle I have learned so much and it has led me to the person I am today! And I’m so proud of who I am and how far I’ve come! But I am also looking forward to what the future holds! A BIG thank you to my incredible family and friends that continue to love and support me! I am so blessed! I wouldn’t be here without you all! ….

Today I celebrate life and all of its beauty! I feel so grateful to be here, still rocking and rolling … 

A another friend recently wrote:

I’ve been teaching for 34 years. No kidding, she says.  That kind of surprises me when I think about it.  But the truth is, if you are doing it really well, it doesn’t get easier.  I am whipped today because I have two separate classes on really different subjects going at the moment.  One of them will wrap up next week.  The other one carries through till nearly the end of June.  Teaching.  It’s a challenge/opportunity/blessing/chore/delight.

I like what she said, “If you’re doing it really well, it doesn’t get easier.” 

All around us mountain climbers … they sing out to us the songs of hope: you can climb your mountain, too … God is love, life is good, and there is always a way ahead.

I celebrate with each of you – your success … the mountains you’ve climbed … which is a good thing to remember when the mountain looks too high … when our spirits fail, when discouragement sets in … to remember the mountains already climbed … the faithfulness of God … the love of family and friends … a million things to keep us going, a million reasons to keep on climbing.

I look out at you – I see women and men in climbing gear …wrapped in courage and faith … common sense and wisdom … inventiveness and patience …

Yes, I see fear and uncertainty, too … tears and regret; weariness and defeat … things no one can describe … it’s all part of the deal … it’s life … the mountains we have to climb.

Jesus said: I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

That’s a mighty big mountain, isn’t it?

A good mountain to climb, every day.

And it doesn’t get any easier.

To love, dearly and deeply, with patience and mercy; to forgive quickly and put hard memories behind us … to set aside the old and familiar and reach for the new horizon … to pay attention to those around us … to offer the helping hand … seek constructive solutions as the times require … listen well, learn and grow; make it work, find a way … keep on climbing.

You can do it … you’ve done it before, and you’ll do it again.

Climb every mountain,

Search high and low,

Follow every byway,

Every path you know.

Christ is with you … Christ is ahead of you … Christ is behind you … Christ is above you … Christ is beneath you … Christ is within you … Christ – is all around you.

In the name of the Threefold God:  Amen and Amen!