How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Being a teacher means that I often hear talk about the latest superstar that has impressed the youth of today. When Thierry Henry handballed in the recent football match, I knew exactly who he was, despite not having any interest in football. Why? Because when I worked in London, every Monday I would have to try and engage in conversation about how amazing Arsenal are. (Apparently they’re a football team!) I would listen to the sports bulletin every Monday as I drove to the station so that I could drop a random comment about Henry’s playing on Saturday to the kids.
Thanks to the kids, I knew that Thierry Henry is an amazing footballer. Or, at least, I believed he was based on what they told me about him, and what I picked up on the radio bulletin. Had I not known who Henry was, though, I would not have been able to believe that he was an amazing player. It makes sense really!
In our current Isaiah passage, we’re told that the feet of those who bring the news of the gospel of salvation are beautiful – probably not literally, but figuratively, because it is as a result of those feet that people come to learn about God.
Paul quotes this passage from Isaiah in today’s Daily Reading, which is taken from his letter to the Romans. Here he explains how people come to faith. In order to have faith in God’s salvation plan, people must believe in God. In order to believe in God, people must know about him. In order to know about God, someone must tell people about him. In order for people to tell others about God, it is important that they are sent. It is at this point that Paul reminds us that the feet of those who share the gospel of Christ are beautiful.
Of course, what Paul is talking about here is not just the good news of Christ’s birth, but also Jesus’ teachings, his death and his resurrection. Christmas provides us with a perfect opportunity to share the gospel with those around us, since people are thinking about Jesus anyway. It’s a perfect opportunity to remind people that Jesus was far more than a baby born in a stable. He died to save us all from our sin.
How are your feet looking this Christmas? Are they beautiful as a consequence of sharing the gospel? Or are they a bit grubby, and needing a bit of a clean?