Jesus & Mountains - Jake Vaden

Did you know that hiking, being in nature, and climbing mountains/viewpoints is a spiritual practice Jesus models for us? The Bible mentions at least 23 accounts of Jesus going up on mountains/hillsides. Here is one for reference,

“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone.” (Matthew 14:23).

Have you ever had moments out in nature that stirred awe and wonder within your soul? I believe that is one of the reasons why Jesus is seen going up to these lonely and beautiful places. Living in an urban environment, having a job that requires sitting inside, and the overwhelming distraction of phones can make getting outside in an undistracted state a true challenge. I recently heard an example of how we can view amazing footage in documentaries such as Planet Earth and see the world’s largest waterfall with drone footage. Still, you will feel a more visceral and emotional tug from walking up a trail here in Forest Park and seeing an unnamed, small waterfall from a creek. The in-person experience is powerful.

Summer is approaching and I hope that you can enjoy some nice weather and experience the beauty of God’s creation. Take small steps. You do not have to start with a 10-mile trail run! Go for a short 5-minute walk outside, take your dog on a walk in the neighborhood, drive up to Pittock Mansion, do a 3-mile hike, etc. Be like Jesus, get outside and commune with your Father who created this amazing place we live.


Jake Vaden
Family Pastor | Hope City Church