The Good News Bear(er)s
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." (Isaiah 52:7)
In the days before cell phones, telephone wires, or even telegraph cables, lookouts would be posted on mountains and hills who would pass news between villages. Using signal flags, or fires, alphorns in the Alps or the gjallahorn in Scandinavia, news of a returning king or impending invasion would be passed along from one community to the next.
Here in Isaiah, the mountain messengers are announcing the return of God’s people from their exile. As in the time of the exodus long ago, once again God’s people are being set free and coming home. Their long suffering has ended, and how beautiful are the feet of those messengers who announce this good news!
We have good news to share, too. We have the good news of God’s love to share with those who feel that no one cares. We have the good news of God’s forgiveness to share with those who think themselves unworthy. We have the good news of grace, mercy, and compassion for the lost and wandering, and we have the good news of new life for everyone.
Sadly, we live in a world that prefers bad news. Pointing out the flaws and misdeeds of others travels faster through the mountains than messages of love and forgiveness. Explaining why someone is poor, or depressed, or struggling is far easier than offering grace and compassion. You have heard of the Bad News Bears? Ours is a Bad News World.
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news! How beautiful are those who lift others up, build bridges rather than walls, and manage to see the best in others no matter how well hidden. How beautiful are those who announce liberation and salvation to the captive and oppressed.
May God help us all to be beautiful messengers of good news!