Advent 2: Midweek Devotional

December 9th

Bible Portion: Isaiah 52:7-9: 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!” 8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes. 9 Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem.

Focus:  Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem (v. 9).

Reflect: It takes a special kind of person to deal with feet. My podiatrist is used to feet of every size and shape. She knows that my feet win no beauty prizes. My local cobbler repairs my ordinary shoes and also custom-makes shoes for people who cannot walk without the support of his medically prescribed footwear. His shoes support injured and broken feet. As a physiotherapist once said when I apologized for the laceration scars on my feet, “Everyone’s body tells me a story.” Our feet, too, tell a story to God.

God deems as blessed and beautiful the feet of those who bring his good news to those around them. Beautiful! Blessed! Really? My feet, too? Surely not! But, yes, through Isaiah, God declares it to be true. Whether your feet traverse mountains to do it, or simply walk you to your local store, your feet become beautiful in God’s eyes. How? –When the one they carry shares the best news there is: the “good tidings,” that great news. And just what is that? Simply this: God’s love is real, dependable, and personal. God’s love in Jesus is open to any who will receive Bethlehem’s Infant as Savior and Lord.

The disciples—the original twelve—were, perhaps as shy about their feet as I am. Peter was. He demurred when Jesus knelt with a bowl and towel to wash the feet of Peter and the other disciples gathered in that place. I never understood it until… I sat in the home of an upcountry Kenyan pastor. The evening meal was over. Into the room came the pastor’s teenage son. He carried a bowl and a towel. At first, I hardly noticed until he came closer to me. Seeing my look of puzzled consternation, the pastor said, “It is okay, bwana. It is our custom to welcome the Lord’s people by washing their feet.” In that hot climate, I slowly—reluctantly—removed my shoes and socks. My grubby, smelly, misshapen feet were now on full view. As that young man washed my feet with gentle care, I was captured by the sense of God’s overwhelming love. Weeping openly, my tears coursed down my cheeks.  

God knows the state of my feet and is familiar with the condition of my rebellious heart. And yet he chooses to love me and call me his own. He blesses me and calls me beautiful in his eyes when I share his love with others. He chooses you and invites me, also, to bring God’s comfort to lives that lie in ruins. He causes them to “burst into songs of joy together.” The Lord “has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem,” indeed. The Savior comes. That is the news that makes odd feet beautiful.

Consider: Where will the Savior guide your feet today with the message of his love? How will you choose to respond?

Pray: Lord of the bowl and towel, you guide my feet to walk in paths of righteousness for your Name’s sake. On this day in history, glorify your Son even in me as I carry the news of the Savior and share it to make his presence known. Transform my feet to be something beautiful for you. In the Savior’s Name, I pray. Amen.

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