Moving mountains is not, as you might expect, an everyday occurrence. In fact, recorded instances of mountains being moved are not plentiful.
However, Marco Polo (1254-1354), a Merchant Venturer from Italy, did appear to have had one notable occasion when he saw an actual mountain being moved.
This is – supposedly, anyway – a true story.
In his capacity as a Merchant Venturer he travelled in China with the Emperor, Kublai Khan, who was the grandson of Genghis Khan.
In their journeys, Marco Polo and the Chinese Emperor came upon a small village in which there lived a group of Christians.
The Chinese Emperor was known for being very sadistic and cruel and he ordered his soldiers to execute them all.
But before his orders could be carried out he said, “Before I kill you, I will prove that your God is dead and that nothing in your Bible is true. Your Bible says that if you have faith like a mustard seed, you will be able to move a mountain by commanding it to go. Just a little way from your village is a mountain – I am going to give you three days in which to move it”
On the first day, all the villagers cried out, ‘Oh God, we’re going to die! Move the mountain!’ But the mountain did not move.
On the second day, they found one man, a shoemaker, who was more spiritual than the rest and they made him do all the praying. He prayed all day, ‘Oh God, we’re going to die! Move the mountain!’ But still the mountain did not move.
Come the third day, the Chinese Emperor returned and ordered his soldiers to line up the Christians and behead them.
But first he said, “I gave you three days to move that mountain and it’s still there! You have no God, your Bible must be a lie. You must pray one more time whilst I watch you! Then you will be beheaded by my soldiers!
This time, however, the village Christians began to pray differently. They looked at the mountain and they began to command it to move in the Name of Jesus of Nazareth.
And as the Emperor watched unbelievingly, the mountain began to MOVE!
And from that time onwards the Chinese Emperor became a Christian and he sent Marco Polo back to Italy to bring missionaries back with him to evangelise China.
Never under-estimate the Power of Prayer!
With many peaceful blessings