Monday, April 27, 2015

Sermon for the Feast of St. Mark, Evangelist: "Beautiful Feet"

+ St. Mark, Evangelist – April 26th, 2015 +
Redeemer Lutheran, HB
Isaiah 52:7-10; 2 Timothy 4:5-18; Mark 16:14-20

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news!”

Feet are important: balance, walking, or driving. Feet can also be big or small, wide or narrow, and yes, smelly. And as the great theologian, Dr. Seuss reminds us: In the house, and on the street how many, many feet you meet.

Feet are many things. But beautiful? Really, that’s in the Bible? It sure is. And for good reason.

Strange as it may sound to our ears, Isaiah’s words about feet are in fact beautiful, and true, and good news for us. Want to know what the kingdom of God looks like? Just follow Jesus’ feet.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news!”

These are the feet of the Son of God who was born in Bethlehem with two feet and ten toes just like you.

These are the feet that sat folded in the temple surrounded by Rabbis as he asked and answered questions in great wisdom.

These are the feet that stepped into the Jordan River to be baptized and fulfill all righteousness for you.

These are the feet that wandered the desert, walked on water, and carried the preaching of the kingdom of God around Judea.

These are the feet that rested under the table of sinners and by the bedside of the sick.

These are the feet that were washed by a sinful, yet repentant woman, who anointed him with her tears and hair.

These are the feet that stood before Pontius Pilate, Herod, and the religious leaders.

These are the feet that stumbled as they carried the cross to Calvary.

And there, upon the mountainside known as Golgotha, the place of the skull, behold the beautiful feet, pierced with nails, and fixed to the cross to bring Good News for you. These are the feet that crushed the ancient serpent, the devil, just as God promised in Genesis.

Everywhere that Jesus’ feet went, he went there for you. That’s the Good News. The Good News that your sins are forgiven. The Good News that Jesus is pierced for you. The Good News that walked, not just in your shoes – or sandals rather – but in your human flesh, to bear in his own flesh your sin and death. The Good News that on the cross, God bared his holy arm for you. You are redeemed.

The Good News that Jesus is risen for you. See my hands and feet and side, he declares. These are the feet that were laid into the tomb for you. These are the feet that walked out of the tomb three days later for you. These are the feet that will walk upon the earth and shout into our graves: Arise!

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news!”

St. Mark was called to bring bear this Good News. God gave Mark feet to follow Peter and record his eyewitness testimony of the Gospel. Certainly, all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness, but Mark’s Gospel records the very life and words of our Lord. That’s why we stand for the Gospel reading. And why St. Mark is called the evangelist; one of four to receive such an honor and title.  God used his hands and mind and feet to bear the Good News to you.

And we need Jesus’ beautiful feet to bring us Good News. For our feet are dirty. We step in sin daily.

How often have we used our feet to wander away from Christ's church to someplace more interesting and exciting? How often have we buried our feet deeper under the covers rather than get up and go hear Christ's Word? How often have we used our feet to walk away from those around us who are in need? How often have we run with those feet to share the latest bit of juicy gossip and failed to offer the greatest news of all? How often have we used those feet to storm and stomp in anger and frustration at our parents, neighbors, or fellow Christians? How often have we used those feet to kick others while they are down or to strut around like we’re the best thing ever happened to everybody? Oh yes, our feet are caked in the gunk and manure of sin!

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news!”

Why are Jesus’ feet beautiful? Because the news he announces comes at the very moment when the Good News is needed most.

That little word “Gospel” means Good News. “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Good News in this Gospel – Jesus crucified and risen for you; this Good News is the power of God for your salvation. Good News that for every time you’ve stepped in your own sin, Jesus’ beautiful crucified and risen feet are deliver you and rescue you. This Good News changes our hearts, turns us from walking in the way of death and despair, to life and joy. Good News that all the marks our sinful feet have left on this earth are cancelled out and blotted out by the blood of the Lamb whose feet still bear the scars of our redemption.
Good News, for the one whose feet were pierced for us on Good Friday also knelt down and washed his disciples’ feet, cleansing them for service, to be witnesses of his word to all the ends of the earth.

Jesus does the same thing for the Church today. He calls and ordains pastors. He cleanses their feet, forgives their sin, and sends them out. To walk his feet to the font and baptize you in the washing of new life and forgiveness. To stand before you and announce, publish, and proclaim the Good News: You are forgiven all your sins. You are at peace with God in the wounds of Jesus’ beautiful feet. Yes, even the dirtiest of feet are washed and cleansed in Jesus’ dying and rising for you. To walk from the altar to the communion rail and deliver the peace of Jesus’ body and blood to you. Rejoice that by the feet of His ministers, the blessings of Christ's nail-pierced feet are delivered to you.

This is the Good News that made St. Mark’s feet beautiful. And yours too.

For Jesus also sends you, out into your daily callings in the home – changing diapers, washing laundry, caring for your parents or grandchildren; at church – serving on boards, attending bible class, supporting the Gospel with the gifts God has given you; in your neighborhoods, work places, the grocery store, driving range, post office, parking lot, or 24 hour fitness. Wherever you go - Jesus sends you, cleansed feet and all, bearing his Good News.

“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news!”

Indeed, you too have beautiful feet, because Jesus’ feet were pierced for you on Calvary. So too, walk this way.

A blessed St, Mark's day to each of you...

In the Name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

No comments:

Post a Comment