On festivals, flip flops and beautiful feet

Sarah Small, Head of the Eden Network, shares her thoughts on being carriers of the good news.

As I write this, I’m about to head down to the annual New Wine Christian festival and I do so with a certain amount of trepidation. The British weather has been rather wet and is forecast to continue to be unsettled for the duration of our time there. I’ve packed my wellies and my flip flops, prepared for whatever element is thrown at us!  

When we lived in Kenya I regularly made the wrong choice of shoes. I almost alway wore sandals and when the rains came they turned the dusty red roads into a total mud bath. My feet would slip and slide and turn as red as the roads. They looked anything but beautiful and took ages to get clean. Sandals and mud are a bad combination. 

Why all this talk about feet?

Isaiah talks about a pair of beautiful feet. In chapter 52 verse 7 he says:

How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace, 
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,

Those feet are beautiful, not because of their physical appearance, muddy, clean or otherwise, but because of what they carry. At that time the hopes of Israel were in tatters. The people had been taken off to Babylon and deep disappointment and trauma had set in. God seemed to have abandoned his people and the promises he had made to them. And then came a messenger with good news of peace and salvation – a prophet who laid out a vision of future restoration. A future that brought hope.

Years later there came another pair of feet, feet that in the end were anything but beautiful, scarred and broken, nailed to a cross. But these feet once again carried the good news. They brought a message and then made that message a reality. All could be saved by faith in him who calls us to live in a kingdom. A kingdom that is unlike any human kingdom we have ever known.

And he left us with a mandate, to take our feet, whatever they may look like, and to make them beautiful. To continue to carry this beautiful message, that brings hope, a vision of freedom and of great news to our neighbours. 

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