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Posted: August 30, 2012 6:22 p.m.

McCoy: Living on the mountain

Who can live in your tent, Lord? Who can dwell on your holy mountain? The person who lives free of blame, does what is right, and speaks the truth sincerely; who does no damage with their talk, does no harm to a friend, doesn't insult a neighbor; someone who despises those who act wickedly, but who honors those who honor the Lord; someone who keeps their promise even when it hurts.

Psalm 15:1-4
(Common English Bible)

I'm on the mountain this week. Literally. It's been great being in the North Carolina mountains. Getting together with other clergy in a think tank kind of gathering where we share ideas, learn, and worship God together has been inspiring. This week, my clergy friends and I have laughed and cried together. I really feel as if I've been on the mountain of the Lord, and in some ways, it will be hard to come home.

Part of the experience of being here this week has been to worship God. As we have learned more about different ways to worship, different ways to pray, and different ways to listen to God speak through God's word, we have had time for self-examination - time to reorder our priorities, and time to reflect on what we need to change in our lives to be more like Jesus.

The Psalmist tells us what kind of person we must be to stay on God's mountain. We must be pure in heart, action, attitude and intent. We must do no harm to others by what we say or do. We must honor the Lord in our actions and our attitudes - in everything we think, say and do.

Those are the requirements for staying on the mountain, according to the Psalmist, but they are also the results of staying on God's holy mountain, staying in the presence of God. When we allow God to penetrate our hearts as we live in God's presence, we find that our actions and attitudes are more holy. When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives, we find that our desires change, and we do no harm because Jesus would do no harm. We find that we serve others because our Lord served others.

We have much to do when we reach the bottom of the mountain. How are you learning and growing in your faith every day? How are you living in God's presence every day?

Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at

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