Christmas Reflection: Good News!
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!
The middle section of Isaiah 52 celebrates the coming of God’s salvation to the whole world. Verse 7, using the idiom of “beautiful feet,” rejoices in the “good news” of peace and salvation.
What explains this extraordinary turn of events? How have things been made right in Israel and, indeed, throughout the world? These questions are answered by the core of the good news announced to Israel: “Your God reigns” (52:7). It isn’t just that God is mending the broken world and restoring his broken people. Rather, this act of global healing comes as a result of God’s royal presence. When he reigns, and only when he reigns, all things are made right.
Jesus reiterated the good news of Isaiah 52, but with a stunning twist. His message, in a nutshell, was this: “The time promised by God has come at last!. . . The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” (Mark 1:15). In Jesus, God had come to reign on the earth. Though the fullness of the kingdom is still to come, when we put our faith in Jesus, we begin even now to live in the peace and power of God’s reign. The good news we embrace as Christians is not only that we get to “go to heaven” after we die, but also that we can begin to experience heaven now.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: How have you experienced God’s reign in your life? Where do you resist living under God’s authority? In what ways do you need to experience his power today?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, how wonderful indeed is the good news of your reign. That which was promised in Isaiah has begun in Jesus. You have come to earth in him to mend this broken world, including me. All praise be to you, Mighty King and Gracious Savior, for the peace and salvation you bring.
O Lord, may I live this day under your reign, intentionally and joyfully. May I attend to the guidance of your Spirit. May I be used to extend your kingdom wherever I am. Fill me afresh with your power, so that I might share the reality of your kingdom in word and deed.
All praise be to you, my King, for you reign! Amen.
Image courtesy of Laity Lodge Youth Camp, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.