Recently I watched the Sound of Music for the first time in many years. I’ll always remember my first viewing of the film – after Charles and Di’s wedding in July 1981. We watched the ‘wedding of the century’ then all sat and watched The Sound of Music as a family. Perfect.
And it’s hard to beat the scene at the end of the film, watching the family walking across the mountain-top to freedom. How lovely on the mountains are the feet of those bringing good news. Especially if they can sing close harmony as well.
In the case of the Von Trapp family, the good news was primarily personal – but here in today’s passage, the good news is altogether more universal.
It’s likely that the latter chapters of Isaiah were written in the late 6th century, after Jerusalem had been conquered and destroyed by the Babylonian army – hence the reference to ‘ruins of Jerusalem’ in v9. Good news was in short supply. Where was hope?
Hope was coming. The watchmen would see it and find joy (v8). The ruins themselves would sing (v9). And over the mountains would come feet bringing good news (v7).
600 years later, those feet would announce the good news that the kingdom of God was near. Those feet would travel up the hillside to deliver the Beatitudes, to hear Peter’s confession of the Christ and to meet Moses and Elijah. But a short while later, those same feet would also climb Mount Moriah, carrying a cross lashed across their owner’s back.
God’s good news is sure, and true. But it’s more than ‘the hills are alive’, lovely as that is. It came at a great cost. As we’ll see tomorrow, its beauty lay in sacrifice. Peace was won the hard way.
Nevertheless, it remains good news – more than that, it’s still the best news I ever heard! And although it came after great waiting and at great cost, nothing is more true than the final words of the passage: all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.
We are part of God’s big salvation story. Give thanks for those beautiful feet that brought good news to you.