Spirituality at Tao Fong Shan, December 2020 Issue
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—I see no one except Jesus.
Rev. Karl Ludvig Reichelt was a missionary who was sent from Norway to China in 1904. In 1930, he went to Hong Kong due to the war and finally decided on this scenic mountain in the New Territories and named it Tao Fong Shan, which has since served the community.
Why did Reichelt choose this location? I wonder.
Because the location is sited in the mountains, it was very difficult to transport the materials let alone build what later become the teaching centre, reception hall, dormitory, and dining hall. When I saw two large plaques read Lift up Eyes To the Mountains, and Only See Jesus, I suddenly had a realization and could not help being grateful for Tao Fong Shan.
(I) Lift up (my) eyes to the mountains.
The plaque contains the verses of the Psalm, 121:1. It is a song of ascents, and it is likely to be sung on their way to worship at the Mount Zion Temple. It can be seen that going up the mountain to worship is one of the traditions of our faith. Besides, hiking to the mountains is a custom on some holidays in Chinese culture. It was Rev. Reichelt’s vision to preach to Buddhists, so choosing a site in the mountains is both in line with the Christian faith and the Chinese culture.
See no one except Jesus.
The plaque refers to the scriptures in Matthew chapter 17, which records the experience of Jesus and his disciples going up the mountain to pray—titled The Transfiguration. In this peak experience, the disciples first saw Jesus transfigured, and later Moses and Elijah representing the Law and the Prophets appeared. Thereafter, a bright cloud covered them, and they heard the voice of Heavenly Father. Finally, the Bible writes,
In the Bible, Jesus went up into the mountains / wilderness to pray. The purpose is to leave the crowd and be alone with God. For example, the Lord Jesus prayed in a solitary place before dawn (Luke 4:42-44), withdrew from the people to lonely places and prayed (Luke 5:15-16), and when he needed to choose 12 disciples—he went out to a mountainside to pray (Luke 6:12). After feeding the people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray (Matthew 14:23), which all showed the importance of the Lord Jesus being alone with God the Father. As people who follow him, if we want to enter the crowd to witness and serve, how can we disregard our time alone with God?
Therefore, it is because of Rev. Karl Ludvig Reichelt founding the organization 90 years ago, we can now learn spirituality on the scenic mountain of Tao Fong Shan and get close to the Lord and nurture spiritual teachers. I hope you will experience more of lifting up your eyes to the mountains and seeing no one except Jesus.