Tuesday January 31 2017

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Scripture: Isaiah 52:1-12

Key verses: (7-9)

7    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.”
8   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.
9   Break forth together into singing,
you ruins of Jerusalem;
for the LORD has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.

Reflection: Sometimes you need a change of perspective to learn something new. As I write this devotion I am descending from 8,500 feet at Highlands Camp and Conference Center outside of Denver Colorado. I’ve been at a meeting of church educators, and spent an extra Sabbath day with a small group at the Presbyterian retreat center. Mount Meeker greeted us in a glorious morning show at sunrise. The mountains of Colorado are so different than the Blue Ridge mountains I am used to. We took a walk through the deep snow, the kind of snow that makes a native Floridian like me giddy. With deep drifts covering the trails and roads, we stumbled along, sinking deep with each step. Less oxygen in the air, and the effort it took to walk, meant our plan for a nice long hike got curtailed. It was slow going. Beautiful, but slow.

Isaiah exclaims about the beauty of the feet of those who bring good news on the mountain of the Lord. My trek in Colorado makes me think that mountain steps take real effort. Sharing the good news is not easy, when the environment around you is deceptively demanding.  What might seem at first like a pleasure, can turn out to be enormously difficult and tiring. Announcing God’s message of peace can seem like an uphill climb through deep snow. Having companions to pull you out, keep your spirits up, and remind you of the message you are carrying, makes all the difference. May we support one another as we keep our eyes on God, the One who walks with us, and whose message of peace, justice, and grace we carry.

Prayer: Holy One, you have given us a message of good news. Send us out as a community of faith, dedicated to taking it to all who need to hear it. Walk with us when the going gets tough, the terrain is difficult, and the path unclear. Keep our eyes on your glorious kingdom. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen.

Author: Julie Hester

[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].

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