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.
10 The Lord has bared his holy arm
before the eyes of all the nations;
and all the ends of the earth shall see
the salvation of our God.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of [your name here] who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, ‘Your God reigns’.” The Lutheran Study Bible Faith Reflection question for today’s reading asks, “In your life, who is like the messenger who brings good news?” As I was thinking about my answer, first I remembered my parents, who taught me about God and the Bible. Next I thought about all the people who have taught me about faith, by word and example. Then I thought about the question’s flip side. If people are God’s messengers, bringing me the good news of God’s love and salvation, then shouldn’t I be a messenger as well? Re-reading the passage with my own name in place of “the messenger” was both daunting and exciting. Could I be the one to bring such important information to someone else? The sentinels in today’s passage are in Jerusalem, announcing the exiled Israelites’ return. They were heralding a real historic event. When Persian ruler Cyrus captured Babylon in 538 B.C.E., he allowed the Jewish exiles to come back and rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. This was tangible good news. But God’s people still needed to notice how God was working in the world, tell each other about it, and then listen to God’s human messengers. May we be as observant, joyful, and receptive as Isaiah’s sentinels, proclaiming the ways God comforts and redeems us today.
Faithful God, help us to serve as messengers of peace to your world, and to listen when others bring your good news to us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Written by Kristen Schmid Schurter Director of Spiritual Gifts Ministries