7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” 8 Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion. 9 Break forth together into singing, you ruin of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
“The Old Testament can be more difficult to access, at least for me, with its old-fashioned language and ‘before Christ’ historical context. But the message of joy in ‘glad tidings’ rings equally true for Old Testament times, the days of Jesus, and today. Advent and the old English Christmas carol remind us to focus on ‘tidings of comfort and joy’ in the coming of the Messiah to save the world. The proclamation of that Good News is definitely ‘beautiful upon the mountains’ each and every time we ponder it.
As we move through this Advent season, I want to remember how ‘beautiful’ it is to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ. It can feel uncomfortable for some (I’ll confess) to shout the words from the mountaintops. We do get some help this time of year with more opportunities to share glad tidings in song. But perhaps more important, I hope to remember how ‘beautiful’ it is to express Christ’s message of peace and love through actions, this season and throughout the year.