Summary: Authentic faith always becomes a public matter, and believing with the heart leads to profession with the lips.
“How Beautiful are Your Feet?”
By: Rev. Kenneth E. Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA
There was a man who normally went barefoot, but once, when he had some money in his pocket, he went to the city and bought a pair of shoes and socks.
After this, having money left over, he went to a pub and got drunk.
As he tried to make it home, he was only able to stagger out of town where he lay down in the middle of the street.
A car came along and the driver yelled at the man to move or he would drive over the man’s legs.
In his condition the man looked at the unfamiliar shoes and socks and replied: “Drive on; they aren’t my legs.”
How many of us have thought of feet as being beautiful?
They aren’t something we commonly regard as particular points of beauty, but they can be turned into something more beautiful than all the gold in the world—when used for the right purposes!!!
In our Epistle Lesson for this morning the Apostle Paul tells us: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”
Why does the bringing of Good News cause our feet to be transformed into things of beauty?
We live in a world which can be both beautiful and ugly.
The other night I came into the den and asked Jeanne to turn the channel to CNN—“I just want to see the news real quick,” I told her.
“The news is depressing,” was Jeanne’s reply.
And she is right.
All and all, the news we get from the world is depressing.
We are told about war, terrorism, murder, rape, abductions…things that make us uneasy…
…things which make human life seem very cheap…
…and human beings very evil!
The news we often receive from the reporters and anchors—the evangelists—so to speak, of the world cause us to fear, leave us with less hope than we had before we heard it, and certainly can bring on a certain depression.
When I was in the news business we had a saying: “If it bleeds, it leads.”
Which means that the more awful and shocking the story, the more time we gave to reporting it…
…and sensationalizing it…
…and milking it for all it was worth.
Bad news brings good t-v ratings.
I don’t know why, but it is true.
I read somewhere, fairly recently, that the number of violent crimes has not necessarily increased over the past 20 years or so—but most folks think it has.
And why is this?
It’s because this is all we hear about on the news.
And the news is on…right in front of us…24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
I think that one of the worst things that has occurred over the past twenty or so years is cable t-v!!!
We get a lot of bad news…
And we have come to expect it, I suppose.
A Don Henley song which came out several years ago tells it like this:
“I make my living off the Evening News,
Just give me something-something I can use,
People love it when you lose,
They love dirty laundry.
We got a bubble-headed-bleach-blonde who comes on at five,
She can tell you ‘bout the plane crash with a gleam in her eye,
It’s interesting when people die—
Give us dirty laundry.
Can we film the operation?
Is the head dead yet?
You know, the boys in the newsroom got a running bet.
Get the widow on the set!
We need dirty laundry.
You don’t really need to find out what’s going on,
You don’t really need to know just how far it’s gone…
We can do “The Innuendo”
We can dance and sing,
When it’s said and done we haven’t told you a thing…
…Give us dirty laundry!”
The feet which get a sort of glee out of bringing us down, gossiping, verbally raping us, if you will…
…are not beautiful feet at all…
…the only feet which are beautiful are those feet which bring us a completely different kind of news!!!
Paul tells us in our Epistle Lesson, “The word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,’ that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
That is the completely different kind of news—that is the Good News!!!
And we aren’t going to get the Good News from CNN, FOX, MSNBC, CBS or ABC…
…the Good News comes from the mouths of those who believe on the Lord Jesus.
The Good News comes from the mouths of those who have been transformed by it!