Isaiah 52:7-10 - How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns." The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice; together they sing for joy; for eye to eye they see the return of the LORD to Zion. Break forth together into singing, you waste places of Jerusalem, for the LORD has comforted His people; He has redeemed Jerusalem. 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.
The watchman heralds the coming of Christ. It is good news that he brings—the coming of Christ to give Israel hope and to replace all the despair and fear which were so much a part of their lives. It's good news for us today, too. Let the forgiveness of God in Christ wipe out the memory of all your misspent yesterdays, and let the light of Christ bring the warmth of faith and love to all your tomorrows. The Good News, the Gospel of Christ is for you. It's for me. It's for everyone.
So let Christ reign in your heart. Receive the forgiveness He alone can give and the strength to live anew that can be found in Him alone. Let Christ live in you as He did in the apostle Paul, who gave God all his misspent yesterdays: "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me" (Galatians 2:20).
No matter what our sinful past may hold, there is forgiveness for you and me. There is new life for us in Jesus Christ. This is the truth Isaiah spoke of long ago—a truth as true then as it is today. It's no wonder the watchman is rejoicing. How could he not? The LORD has returned to Zion; He has comforted His people; He has redeemed Jerusalem. He has made His salvation known to the ends of the earth.
And how has He done this? Through Jesus.
Jesus Christ is God's wonderful news for the world. They are glad tidings addressed to everyone everywhere. In the manger of Bethlehem, on the cross at Calvary, and from the empty tomb in a quiet garden, the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is God the Father saying to Zion, "Your God reigns." This is the message God has for a world lost in despondency and despair, desperate for hope and a future.
And now today, with the prophet, we too can say, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news!"
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for sharing Jesus with us—the best news ever! In His Name we pray. Amen.
From "The Mission of Hope," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Oswald Hoffmann, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. What's the last bit of really good news you have heard?
2. Why would the "waste places of Jerusalem" be singled out as an area that should break forth in song?
3. How do we act as "watchmen" in sharing God's salvation message with others?
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