How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of the messenger who brings good news,
the good news of peace and salvation,
the news that the God of Israel reigns!
The watchmen shout and sing with joy,
for before their very eyes
they see the Lord returning to Jerusalem.
Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song,
for the Lord has comforted his people.
He has redeemed Jerusalem.
The Lord has demonstrated his holy power
before the eyes of all the nations.
All the ends of the earth will see
the victory of our God. Isaiah 52:7-10
Good news shouted, celebrated, sung with great joy and enthusiasm. Can we even imagine such a thing today? In this age of heart-wrenching news stories and anger and protests and hatred and poverty and conflict and disease and death. I don’t know about you, but I can barely imagine a fleet-footed messenger bringing news of comfort and peace and salvation.
But it’s what I desperately crave. And it’s what this world desperately needs.
It’s what this world has desperately needed throughout its existence, from the moment that Adam and Eve left the Garden and life became messy and broken and filled with darkness and pain. And it’s the very need for which God planned even before the beginning of the world. Comfort, peace, good news. His Good News.
Not something temporary. Not something that would appease only for a short while before the world caved in around us once again. Not something wrought by the hands, or the minds, or the strength of men.
This Good News is confined by neither time nor space and was wrought through the hands of Jesus. And it is a gift.
But can we truly grasp that? Do we want to?
Or does it feel like utter nonsense in the midst of a world of hurting and hatred and pain and anger?
At first glance, I admit, it seems ridiculous. Absurd. Abstract in a world of concrete needs.
But consider the Truth of it. Consider the Truth that He embodies: hope, redemption, love, victory. Absolute and complete victory.
This is something for which I yearn. Victory. Not just for myself, but for those I have never met. For the struggles they face and the circumstances that threaten to oppress the, even bury them in the cracks of our culture until their needs and their lives become invisible.
How is possible to rejoice?
Because He comes. And their needs, their lives, their hearts are not invisible to Him. In fact, it is why He comes.
And so I will be a watchman upon the walls of this world and its circumstances who brings good news and comfort and hope. I will be one who shouts with the songs of joy and victory raised for a hurting world to hear and to know.
Despite the messy brokenness of this life, I will wrap myself in the comfort of the Holy power of the Lord whose mercy and justice I do not recognize but for which I yearn and in which I trust.
Here, in this place, the breath of heaven brushes my ear with a promise that God will enter this fray and reveal Himself to those who seek the miracle of heaven here in this world. For it is here. Indeed it comes each year at this time if we but journey to that little town of Bethlehem in search of our King and Creator who entered our world as helpless as we too often feel.
We have not been left alone.
We have not been abandoned.
Yes, this world will wrench us to our cores and will incite us to anger and sometimes hopelessness; the world can seem as if nothing will ever change and that nothing matters.
But God says otherwise. And He said it pretty powerfully with the birth of a baby on a cold dark night to a young teenage mother. Angels sang. Shepherds fell on their knees. A Savior came. Watchmen shouted and sang with joy because hope was born and victory was proclaimed with those first cries of a newborn babe in a stable.