Christmas on Mt. Mystic

Christmas on Mount Mystic 1: Invitation

Amanda answered the phone to hear the voice of her great uncle on the other end. She is exhausted and at the end of her rope at work and the end of her patience at home.Uncle Eli and Aunt Sophia offer her a retreat at their cozy cabin on Mt. Mystic during the weeks leading up to Christmas.

Join us this Christmas season (Advent) for an exploration of the Incarnation in light of the Transfiguration story. We’re joining the disciples (and a stressed out mom named Amanda) on the mysterious mountain, hoping to encounter God in all his glory and restore our weary souls.

Amanda answered the phone to hear the voice of her great uncle on the other end. Uncle Eli got word through her mother that life has been kicking her in the teeth lately. She is exhausted and at the end of her rope at work and the end of her patience at home. She loves hers kids to death, but lately she’s been plotting their deaths! She needs a break from them—no, everyone—and she can’t fathom finding the emotional energy to get through the holiday season without snapping.

Uncle Eli and Aunt Sophia offer her a retreat at their cozy cabin on Mount Mystic during the weeks leading up to Christmas. They have already cleared this with her spouse who, God bless him, will take care of the kids so she can have this much needed time of recharging and re-centering herself. Something in her soul leaps with joy and excitement—not to mention relief—at the thought of quiet days reading and relaxing in a cozy cabin overlooking the mountain wilderness coated with December snow.

After accepting, she immediately begins day-dreaming about how she will spend her time on the mountain. Lazy mornings sleeping in without an alarm clock. Sipping coffee and reading the morning newspaper (or avoiding it!) on the veranda with the mountain lake sparkling in the distance. An afternoon snowshoeing through the pine forest. Getting lost in a good novel by a crackling fireplace while snowflakes fall gently outside the window. Endless hours of peace and quiet. She grows more giddy each day as she counts down the days until her escape to the mountaintop. 

A few days before her departure, she received a letter in the mail from Aunt and Uncle with some final instructions and details about the cabin: how to disarm the security system, adjust the thermostat, WiFi password, TV instructions, and so on. But tucked into the envelope with these instructions was a strange letter that has her puzzled and scratching her head. The letter is a bit cryptic and vague:

Beloved Niece,

It is our great joy to invite you up onto this majestic mountain for some special time away. May you find rest for your weary soul in this place. Please make yourself at home. However, we  should make you aware of a few particular quirks about this mountain villa. We hope these won’t deter you from coming. First, you may have unexpected visitors show up at your door and we hope you will welcome them in. Second, it can get dazzlingly bright on the mountain, so pack your sunglasses. Third, the clouds often grow thick at this altitude and completely envelope the landscape; we hope you find strange comfort from the cloud. Fourth, if you happen to hear voices, don’t be afraid. We suggest you listen to them. Finally, when your time comes to an end on the mountain, you will likely want to extend it. You mustn’t. Your life awaits you back in the flatlands. Now, I highly suggest you keep a journal of your experience on Mount Mystic to remember it by, and if you find the time, please write to us telling us of your adventures. Enjoy your stay!

Love, Eli & Sophia

Stay tuned.

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