"How beautiful upon the mountains..."

In his sermon about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, Rev. Cattenhead quoted part of Isaiah 52:7, which says, "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.'"

Derrick talked about Paul's conviction that he must preach and that we, too, are called to share the good news.  I talked in my sermon about Jesus saying he came to preach, while acknowledging that some people attach a negative connotation to that word.  Preaching sounds negative to them, like finger-wagging, criticizing, "know-it-all-ing."

While Jesus did, at times, grow critical, that was usually at corrupt systems and their representatives.  His compassion for "tax collectors and sinners" was such that they were drawn to him.  I doubt that happened by him yelling at them in public squares that they were going to hell.

I think people were drawn to Jesus because the message he preached is good news: The Kingdom of God has come near.  God's Son is among us. Forgiveness is available. New life is available.  The destructive forces that are against you will be defeated and you won't be alone in the meantime.  There is something worth giving your life to.

We can echo every one of those messages, adding another we've come to know to be true: there's a suffering servant who is worthy to be served.

Let the Holy Spirit guide how you preach these hopeful messages, but don't let those who have preached with anger and hate prevent you from preaching good news with joy and love.  How beautiful when your life is part of proclaiming Jesus and the grace he brings.