Joy: Week Three – Day Two
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” – Isaiah 52:7 (NRSV)
This is the third week of Advent, and churches all over the world are talking about joy. You cannot read today’s verse without hearing joy. We’ve all experienced the joy that comes from getting some long-awaited good news. Maybe you’ve anxiously refreshed a webpage looking for a grade, or you’ve waited outside while a team of judges decided if you passed the audition, or you got that thrilling text with those four joyous words: “You made the team.”
Back before smartphones and fax machines, the only way to receive a message from a long way off was to send a hand-delivered letter. There was not a postal service or a Pony Express. Most of the time, these messages were carried by people on foot. Today’s verse describes someone traveling on foot to deliver a message of peace and salvation. Picture a soldier dispatched from the front lines and told to run back to the city. The soldier is to announce that the war is over. Peace has come, and God has brought about salvation. The beautiful feet in this story are not just bringing good news, they are bringing a message of life in the face of death.
Though we have all received good news, we have not received many messages of life in the face of death. That kind of news sounds more like hearing “His cancer is finally in remission,” or “She survived the accident,” or “We will be together again someday.”
However, we have all received the same good news in Jesus Christ. In fact, that’s exactly what the word “gospel” means: good news! And How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the gospel, who proclaim peace with God, who announce our salvation and the Kingdom of God.
This season, we should remember that Jesus’s birth is the ultimate good news. More than that, it is a message of life in the face of death. Take joy and give thanks for God’s message of life in the face of death.