In light (!) of the Epiphany, this morning’s devotion comes from today’s Lectionary reading, as well as from Drake Richey’s Mockingbird Devotion.

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (NIV)

phidippidesclassiclogo_op_800x1223At mile twenty in a marathon, most runners start to falter: one man grabs his hamstring and hobbles to the curb, another mutters about a toenail, and a young woman sits down right in the middle of the road. When my wife saw me at mile twenty-two, neither she nor I knew if I would survive the rest of the race. For the last few miles, I followed right behind another runner and tried to block out the pain. With three hundred yards to go, I finally saw the finish line with thousands of people cheering, including my wife screaming at the top of her lungs, rejoicing that I was nearly there.

And though there can be glory in a marathon, its origin is a story of sacrifice—the first Marathon runner needing to get news to Athens, sacrificing his own body in the process, the story goes, dying immediately after delivering the news of victory (where the word “Nike” comes from).

Isaiah, too, tells of a watchmen’s joy when he sees the messenger who has run from the battle to proclaim the news of their army’s victory. “We are free,” the messenger proclaims, “Your God reigns!” The messenger’s feet cannot hold him another minute, but how lovely are his feet, which bring the good news. Good news comes to those of us who need it most, at a supreme cost to its messenger.

In Jesus, the fundamental messenger of Good News, the message of deliverance is conclusive. In him, we are delivered not from foreign political powers, but from sin and death—and what good news this is! St. Paul quotes this passage in Romans 10:15, referring to the messengers who preach this good news of Jesus. How beautiful are the feet of the weary messenger who has run the race to bring the news of salvation to those who are in need.