By Amos Disasa
There are 62 references to “good news” in the Bible. My favorite is the one time good news and feet are mentioned together. The prophet Isaiah pronounces a blessing of beauty on any terrain touched by the feet of messengers bringing good news.
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation…” (Isaiah 52:7)
My daughter Shepherd runs everywhere she goes. She is bad at hide and seek and generally incapable of being sneaky. Wherever she goes, you hear her coming and you know the news she is bringing will be good by the sound she makes. Loud and fast pit-pats indicate an announcement that typically begins with a breathless, big-eyed, “Guess what?”
Our feet and the sounds they make, or don’t make, are a revelation. Our feet give us away. They leave behind prints on the streets we roam, at the doors we visit, and around the tables at which we eat.
The prophet said that when we have good news to share, our feet should be making mountains beautiful as we rush to tell someone. Dallas doesn’t have any mountains, but the blessing still applies. People rushing to share good news makes the ground that passes beneath our feet beautiful.
To be an evangelist for good news, then, is not an obligation we do with dour faces and slouched shoulders. We do it because we also notice the shimmer our feet add to the earth, making all of creation look like it’s smiling.
This will be our focus for the time being: to tell the good news in new places, to people we don’t yet know. We don’t have to choose between growing deep or wide, we will do both at the same time. Good news makes a mountain beautiful and a church grow.
Before you decide that you’re ready to come along, know that we’ve got work to do and change to make in preparation. This week we began with a realignment of our staff to support this vision. Next, we will turn to our governance structure (the Session and councils/committees) and align it to do the same.
All the while, we’ll be asking “will this help us grow deep and wide” before we allocate resources like time, money, attention and space.
For now, go make a new mountain beautiful this weekend. Follow the way of Jesus with such grace that you leave behind a print.
See you Sunday,
Amos Disasa is the senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. He previously served most recently as a co-pastor of Downtown Church in Columbia, South Carolina. Amos graduated from Presbyterian College in Clinton, S.C. and Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. He and his wife Sarah have two children.
Cover photo by Sylvia Prats.