Good News Published Here!
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns” Isaiah 52:7 (ESV). The prophet Isaiah announces the birth of our Savior Jesus 700 years beforehand, and with these words of blessing he tells of God’s plan to make this good news known to all. Here at International Lutheran Church, we have been reflecting on the Good Word of the prophets that speak to us of our Savior’s coming. The prophet Isaiah – that great and mighty seer – was a special messenger of God through whom God “published” His acts to save and redeem all people. Today we meditate on how this action of the Spirit now employs you and me to make known this good news.
The 66 chapters of this amazing prophecy of Isaiah are in a sense a mini-Bible. Like the 66 books of the inspired word of God, Isaiah tells us of our rebellion, God’s righteous judgement and the “exile” that it brings about in our lives. Yet, Isaiah also tells of God’s great and mighty mercy and His plan to bring us back. God will save humanity through His own incarnation, God in the flesh of man. Through the unjust suffering of His Servant and the punishment He will endure for the sake of all, God will remove our sin and rescue us from death. Today we hear Isaiah even announce how God intends to make this good news known to all – how He will “publish” these glad tidings in you and me.
Each week International Lutheran Church publishes a brief message for our friends and family. The Messenger is a way for us to make the news and events of the life of this congregation known to all. Special events or just regular happenings are announced. During this challenging season, we have also used the The Messenger to update our congregation on how we are responding to the impact of Covid-19 on our gatherings. But most of all The Messenger shares with you and me the message of God’s word – the glad tidings of His grace and mercy. I will be honest though. With the overwhelming amount of news we get each day and the ease in hitting delete, I wonder how willing I am to read, listen and take in this message. I easily get caught up in the less than edifying concerns of the hour or minute and fail to let the message of God’s love, the mystery of the incarnation, or the unbelievable redemption of our Lord’s passion capture me. Instead, I can be quickly captivated by the tyranny of the urgent or at least what appears to be the top of the list.
Yet, thanks be to God! This is why He has come. This is the why of His death and resurrection. Even His “making known” has to be incarnate. Isaiah says, “Blessed are the feet!” This is not a note or communication that comes to us in any way other than through a person – a real live human being. God puts His message into the mouth of His prophet, into the very hands and feet of His saints that they would carry it to all. His message of love is not a robocall or mass text message, but instead published in the flesh of His own Son. His feet will even carry it across the mountains of our sin and death as His feet are nailed to the tree. Jesus is the One through whose lips will be spoken the peace of God! In His breath, the Spirit comes and grants us forgiveness of our sins and transports us from the kingdom of darkness into His reign of Heaven.
What is even more unbelievable is that now in the blessings of our baptism into His Name, and through the bread and cup we share, Jesus again proclaims His death and life for all. In you and me Jesus publishes peace. Across mountains and through the unsurmountable challenges of our lives, God makes His love known to all. As we enter this holy time of Christmas and hear again the mystery of the incarnation, may His Spirit publish in our flesh the good news of Jesus’ birth for all.