Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bethany Bullet - August 12, 2014

If you have never heard my “Beautiful Feet” story, where have you been?  If you’ve heard it so often you could tell it as your own, forgive me, but for the sake of this Bethany Bullet it must be shared again. 

Twenty four years ago a young vicar named Kevin Kritzer preached his first sermon at a congregation.  The text was Romans 10:15 “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News.”  A week or two following that sermon as I entered ‘my’ office I found a card waiting for me.  The cover of the card quoted that text exactly.  How could this not be a good thing?  Upon opening the card, before a word could be read, a crisp one hundred dollar bill floated gently from the card and landed softly upon my desk.  What was good just got better!  Then I read the notation, “Vicar Kevin, your feet are not beautiful!  Everyone knows pastor’s wear black shoes…yours are brown.  Please buy a pair of black shoes.”    On the one hand I could have been devastated, not only was I scolded - the text of my first sermon was the vehicle for the scolding.  I could have been irritated, both the doctrinal application and the exegetical approach of the writer of the note was as far from good, right or salutary.  To twist Scripture in such a way as to support their preference or understanding of tradition, was to devalue the Sola Scriptura principal, and to torture the text itself.  I’m pretty sure when Isaiah first said these words everyone wore sandals, and by the time Paul quoted them to the Romans the Italians had not yet become the lords of fashion and apparel, and black patented leather was not yet in vogue.  I was however elevated, after all I already owned a pair of black shoes and now I had a hundred bucks.

While it is a fun story the real tale that need be told with this text is the description of beautiful feet!  Paul does not in our passage define Good News as he has already done so.  “The wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.”  “God shows His love for us in this: while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”  The words, ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.  He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.  Paul (in Romans 10) doesn’t define Good News but describes Good News bringers: “how beautiful their feet.”  

V  Beautiful Feet are such NOT because of what is ON theirs (heels for example) but what was IN His (nails to be specific)
V  Beautiful Feet are not determined by which side of the table they stand on, but who they stand on: the One offered at the table as gift in bread and wine
V  Beautiful Feet are known not through what they wear but through what they share: words, writings and works done humbly and silently for the sake of others

No matter what shape their in or what shoes they’re in my others say of ours, “How beautiful the Good News they’ve delivered.” 

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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