I have always loved music, even if I can’t carry a tune to save my life. This past Saturday, my wife and I had the privilege of hearing the Abington Choral Club perform its spring concert. The theme was music from around the world and thankfully some of it was in English. Just after the intermission they sang a Hebrew song called Ma Navu that was worth the price of admission. To be clear, admission was free – donations were accepted of course, but it would have made the concert worth paying for if they had charged for it. This song was based on one of my favorite passages in the Old Testament from the book of Isaiah 52:7
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”.
I love this rendition of the verse from the ESV (the English Standard Version) that uses the word publish rather than proclaim. What a blessing it is for me to work with people every day around the world who are focused on bringing the good news of the gospel in written form to people who are hungering and thirsting for the truth.
There are lots of places that CLC ministers in where people need to hear that “Your God Reigns” as they struggle to make ends meet each day. One such place is Sierra Leone in West Africa. My dear sister in the Lord, Liz Patten is one of those folks with the beautiful feet that this passage is referring to.
A couple of year ago, Liz was visiting this war torn country to give advice and counsel to our team in Freetown. As she was visiting various locations with our local CLC colleagues, she had the opportunity to stop in at a boys and girls school and realized that they had very few books in their school library. After making a promise to see what she could do about the situation, she took her burden back to the CLC UK team and began the Give a Book, Give a Future program. She challenged her coworkers and our customers in the UK to give books and donations towards establishing libraries in Sierra Leone. After more than a year of working on this project, she had the blessing of being in Freetown last month when the books arrived. This project raised enough funds and books to fill a container and supply the needs of dozens of schools. Who know what kind of nationwide impact these books will have. You can read more about this project on CLC International’s website at www.clcinternational.org
So often it seems that we in the evangelical world can function as “one big mouth” (Rick Warren’s quote, not mine) rather than as the beautiful feet that this passage is referring to. I am certainly a fan of sharing the truth of the gospel verbally, but I love to see this done hand in hand with showing how God’s love can make a practical difference in people’s lives. It blessed my heart to read about my friend (and elder) from church, Jeff Nitz, taking time to present the pro-life argument to the board at Abington Hospital at their annual public meeting. He functions as the Director for Bethany Christian Services (a Christian adoption agency) locally and brings real credibility to the discussion. Certainly we should protest the incredible moral outrage of abortion in our country, but we also need to provide solutions like those available at Bethany Christian services.
As I contemplate how I serve in the Kingdom this week, I am wondering how I can get my feet dirty so that they can be beautiful in God’s sight. I look forward to publishing peace and salvation and reminding people that Our God Reigns.