Palm Sunday is this odd day in Lent. Lent starts with Ash Wednesday, a service that reminds you of your sin and mortality. It sets the mood for Lent. This week is Holy Week, marked by somber (yet really significant – both the Seder meal and Good Friday are going to be inspiring and contemplative) services. And yet here is this celebratory Sunday amidst it all. How’s that? Well, for one thing, every Sunday is a celebration of Easter. We don’t worship on the Sabbath because Easter so changed everything. As Christians we celebrate the new life, the new relationship with God that Easter brought. It literally changed everything – for us personally and for us as humankind. (And the day we worship).
We want to be transformed and transformational. The term “Good News” has been so used in our churches that we forget that indeed we have learned “good news” about the meaning of life, the purpose it carries, and the explanations of where it started and where it goes. We have been the recipients of it, and need to share it.
The sharing of the Good News happens in different ways. We share it from the pulpit. We share it in Sunday School. We share it through missionaries nearby and far away. And I think that Easter makes us mindful of those who bear good news. Isaiah had a funny way of saying that. In Isaiah 52:7 he says: “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!”
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet”? What? What is that? What does that mean? Have you ever brought good news to somebody? Maybe somebody was in trouble, and you told them help is on the way. Maybe somebody was financially in trouble, and you brought a little cash to pay their bills – they are so grateful, they can’t thank you enough. They might poetically say blessed are your feet for bringing them help.
I was delivering food for Branches in Miami years ago, and I remember one particular lady – precisely because she was so grateful. That ministry mattered to her. Branches is an urban ministry in Dade
County. A similar ministry in Palm Beach County is called CROS (Christians Reaching Out to Society) Ministries. As a church we have supported CROS for years. Our own Rev. Juanita Goode is the Director of Engagement for them. I am one who would say of CROS “how beautiful are the feet of them who bring good tidings.” (I wouldn’t say “on the mountains” because, well, we don’t have mountains.) CROS brings hope daily to people who need food in pockets of our county that are truly needy. I want to invite you to consider an Easter gift to the mission emphasis this month which is CROS. They are our feet in our own backyard.
Grateful for what we are able to do together,
O Zion, messenger of good news, shout from the mountaintops! Shout it louder, O Jerusalem. Shout, and do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, “Your God is coming!” Isaiah 40:9 (NLT)