“How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Isaiah 52:7) When I read this verse of scripture, I see sandaled feet of ancient messengers. Their feet were indeed beautiful when they brought good news instead of bad. To his followers, Jesus’ appearance after his death was GOOD NEWS, so they named their message, “good news,” which we translate as “Gospel.” We are accustomed to think of death as the end of life as we know it. Well, good news! It is not. We are accustomed to worry that the world is heading toward disaster. Well, good news! It is not. And, we are accustomed –at least some of us –to think we are not worthy of blessings. Well, good news! We are!
The concept of resurrection is a stumbling block for many people. It is a stumbling block because it is unscientific. It emerges from an age when myth shrouded reality, or stated more crudely, when superstition reigned. But, that is what makes it all the more remarkable –that it was a real event among all the superstitious and fake appearances of the dead, then and now. Now, if you think the resurrection is a stumbling block, what about the incarnation? We are not as familiar with that word, but it means God becoming flesh (human) like us. The incarnation, too, can be a stumbling block because for God to become human sounds like mythology. But, again, that is what makes it so remarkable –that Jesus was a real “divine” man among the many mythological and phony ones. But, the circumstances of Jesus’ divinity were like no other. He was not numbered among the great people of the earth. He was born into lowliness, in a barn, from oppressed peasant parents. As in his death, his power was perfected in lowliness, and that has saved the world. Merry Christmas!