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.” Isaiah 52:7
About a week ago something got me on this subject of our human body and how we use it to respond to the gospel. The first post was all about hands. Hands are easy to talk about, they are visible and we gladly extend our hands towards those whom we love. But when is the last time you extended a foot in friendship? Needless to say, when we extend our foot toward someone or something, it is usually to deliver a good swift kick. Hands are one thing, feet are quite another. We hold one another’s hands; we touch others with ours. When is the last time you held the feet of another? I know, it seems odd to be even talking about feet.
As we did with hands last week, take a moment and consider feet. Like the hand, feet are also well designed for their function and purpose. So much so that a person who is particularly agile is said to be “sure footed.” Feet are strong; they have to be. Feet provide support for our entire body. Feet are strong and able to do work; and yet they are graceful and able to dance and play. But best of all, our feet take us places. Yet, given these fine attributes, many folks agree, feet aren’t the most attractive of our body parts, especially when you consider all they go through. When we stay on our feet long enough, they become tired and calloused. Wearing shoes or boots all day causes our feet to become hot, itchy and uncomfortable. Ill-fitting shoes even cause them to blister. It seems that feet, and especially their appearance leave much to be desired.
It wasn’t too long ago that in my congregation, we focused on the body of Christ as part of our Lenten study. We looked at the humanity of Jesus, how through him, God came to dwell with his people. Jesus faced all the same temptations of human life. In so many instances, Jesus had to choose between doing God’s work, and seeking his own human comforts. Like everyone else, Jesus’ feet took him everywhere he had to go. As he walked the path of righteousness, no doubt Jesus’ feet would become dirty, sore and fatigued. Yet Jesus pressed on and continued in obedient mission and ministry according to God’s law. Sadly, our feet all too often carry us to places we should not go. As sinners in need of redemption, our feet frequently lead us down paths of unrighteousness. But there is still hope.
Consider once again the feet of Christ, those once wounded by the nail. They are the same feet once anointed with a woman’s tears and dried in a devotional act of love with her hair. Even as the nail pierced his feet and affixed them to the cross, Jesus continued to speak words of love and forgiveness. Even as his feet could no longer take him to places where people were in need of healing, Jesus provided ultimate healing for a broken humanity. And even though life giving blood ceased to flow through the wounded feet of our Lord Jesus, death could not hold them in the grave, our Savior would walk again in the glory of the resurrection.
Consider your own feet, once wounded by the nail of sin, yet forgiven and washed clean by the blood of Christ Jesus. Consider your feet, made strong and sure by the power of the Holy Spirit and empowered to take you to those places God would have you go. Redeemed by the blood of Christ, God calls us to take to our feet and proclaim his gospel to a fallen broken world. God calls us to bear witness to his grace, proclaiming the life-saving power of Jesus’ victory at the cross.
Sure, our feet aren’t our most attractive attribute, not by a long shot. But as I said earlier, the human foot is wonderfully designed by our creator. Our feet carry us places; hold us up on sure footing. Feet can be graceful and athletic; they can be sturdy and agile. But the most wonderful thing about our feet is that, because of Christ, they can help us stand in the presence of God as we worship in his temple, and then carry us in mission, following the example of Christ Jesus for the sake of God’s people.