We dare

Published December 1, 2014

Among the glories of Canada’s great landscapes are its mountains. I think of Gros Morne in Newfoundland, the highlands of Cape Breton, the Gatineau Hills in Quebec, the Laurentians in northern Ontario and those foothills that take us into the Rockies of British Columbia and the Yukon. About them all, there is a grandeur that moves us to sing of how great God is and how wonderful the works of his hands.

In the scriptures, mountains are places of encounter with God. Time and again we read of how the presence of the Holy One settles over the mountain and from within the mists that shroud its crest comes a voice-giving a law, as on Mount Sinai; whispering a call, as on Mount Carmel; giving a word of instruction, as to the disciples on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Fond of mountain imagery, the prophet Isaiah writes of that day when “Many peoples shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths’ ” (Isaiah 2:3).

Advent is such a time-an invitation to learn anew the ways of the Lord and to live by them.

Elsewhere, the prophet writes, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’ ” (Isaiah 52:7).

Advent is such a time-a season to rejoice in the gospel of salvation and peace embodied in the long-awaited Messiah.

In a world gripped by fear of terrorist activities at home and abroad, we dare to hope. In a year in which the world has witnessed some of the most atrocious crimes against humanity, we dare to pray. In a time in the history of humanity darkened by so much malice and wickedness in the hearts of some, we dare to light the candles of the Lord and sing once again the carols that tell of his coming.

He shall come down like showers

upon the fruitful earth,

and love, joy, hope, like flowers,

spring in his path to birth.

Before him on the mountains

shall peace the herald go,

and righteousness in fountains

from hill to valley flow.

(Hymn 101, Common Praise)

Archbishop Fred Hiltz is primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.


  • Fred Hiltz

    Archbishop Fred Hiltz was primate of the Anglican Church of Canada from 2007 to 2019.

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