How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the LORD to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The LORD has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. (Isaiah 52:7-10)
My father was a mountain climber. He loved to take us kids up the side of a mountain – hiking for what seemed like forever – until we would FINALLY reach the top to rest on a rock and soak in the breathtaking views that stretched north and south and east and west as far as the eye could see.
I have to say that I was not born loving to hike! My Dad had to encourage me every step of the way, and I will never forget his words (I heard them a lot!), “Just put one foot in front of the other. That is all you have to do. You will get to there – one step at a time.” In these pandemic days and weeks and months, I have pondered that advice – just put one foot in front of the other… one step at a time. These words are deeply true. In one way or another, we are all doing that. One step at a time, one day at a time, one week, one month, one season…
The prophet Isaiah preached to a people who were exiled – longing for “home” (much the way we are longing to return to December 2019). And yet. Isaiah reached out to those people with both memory and hope – the memory and hope of freedom and salvation, the memory and hope of singing and comfort. But it wasn’t magic. These memories and this hope came to them through God’s messengers, and it was carried over the mountains by foot. One step at a time.
My feet carry me places every day – to the grocery store, walking through my neighborhood, riding my bike, walking down the hall to the bedroom or across the room to pick up my phone. And I wonder. What kind of messenger am I? Do my feet carry me to offer a message of peace or strength or hope during this really hard time? Do my feet carry me to name the very real and honest complaints and anger and fear of these days? I wonder. And what about you? Where do your feet carry you? What news do you bring?
There are always lots of questions, but here’s one thing I know. I am deeply grateful for the feet of God’s messengers who offer me a word of peace or hope or salvation when I need it.
Rev. Katherine Mulhern
Prayer Focus: For the messengers of peace who bring good news, peace, hope and endurance
Prayer: Holy God, you give us feet to hike to the mountaintops and through the valleys of life. We give you thanks for the messengers who offer encouragement and who join us along the way. Bless each of them, and all of us, as we make our way through these hard days – one step at a time. Amen.