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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Romans 10:5–15

Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” But how are they to call on one in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (NRSV)

For the longest time I was made uncomfortable by feet. Let’s be honest, feet can smell and look odd. Clothed or bare, I found feet curious and strange. I did all I could to avoid them. That changed one warm afternoon in April of 2013.

I was in my final year of seminary, completing a pastoral fellowship at a large congregation in downtown Boston—feet from the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The entire city was alive with excitement and awe as the world turned its attention to this show of athleticism and perseverance.

Suddenly our joy was shattered. The ground shook. The bricked buildings rattled. Cries and chaos ensued.

And among the smoke and the screams, this is what we saw: Feet.

Bare Feet. Covered Feet. Bloodied Feet. Dozens of feet running toward, not away from, the destruction and despair. We saw the feet of runners and bystanders, medics and medalists. Dozens of feet running toward, not away from, the darkness and disorientation. We saw old feet and young feet, brown feet and white feet. Dozens of feet bringing balm and mercy, comfort and care. Good News.

The Apostle Paul asks us, “How is the world to believe the Good News if they have never heard it? How are they to hear the Good News without someone proclaiming it? How are they to know the love of God if they have never experienced it?”

We are called to be like those first responders—to run toward, not away from, the darkness of this world bringing with us the Good News of Jesus Christ. We Christians are called to be the feet, beautiful feet, bringing comfort and mercy to a world that is drowning in pain and sorrow. This is our call, our lot, our baptismal responsibility. How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!

And you know what? I don’t mind feet that much anymore.

O God, guide my feet to the rough places of this world so that I may share the Good News of your love and salvation. Amen.

Written by Shawn Fiedler, Worship and Adult Education Coordinator

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