How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the Gospel of peace.
“7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” Isaiah 52:7
15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! Romans 10:15
Without the Truth of the Gospel this world is lost! This world will remain lost unless we see that feet bring the good news. In our wonderful military we have a saying, “Boots on the ground.” The term is used to convey the belief that military success can only be achieved through the direct physical presence of troops in a conflict area. It takes the men on the ground, feet, to do the job and accomplish the mission. So without preachers doing their job, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our salvation, will not happen. Souls will be lost forever.
So let us seek to get back to the true ministry of Christ in his church. Let us return to preaching and preaching of the True Word of God in His book the Holy Bible. Let us see the privilege and glory of this office. What could be greater than to be heralds proclaiming the Word of the King of Kings, so that people may hear, believe and be saved.
Our preaching and faith would be empty indeed, were it not for the life-giving resurrection of our Savior. The preaching of the Apostles was not founded upon clever myths, nor yet upon philosophical ideologies, but upon unquestionable historical fact. “We didn’t follow any clever myths when we told you about the power of our Lord Jesus Christ and His coming. No, with our own eyes we saw His majesty” (II Peter 1:16)
“The many that serve and work in the church should be people with wisdom, prudence and with fear of God, “Full of the Holy Spirit and Wisdom.” The priest would not be distracted; instead, he could be occupied with the spiritual works: performing the divine liturgy, preaching the Word of God, preparing himself for the extraordinary charisma, confessing the people, visiting the sick and staying with them one, two or three hours and performing spiritual and priestly works that his co-workers cannot do. As the apostles said, “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” Prayer and sermon are the first and most important tasks of the priest. When I say “Prayer” I mean in general the whole worship and the sacramental life of the Church, among which the divine liturgy takes precedence. Unfortunately, many of these important facets of our religion today are of necessity sometimes neglected. We, the priests, in many cases do not have enough time for prayer and the ministry of the word because of the time we must devote to things which are irrelevant to our divine ministry.
Who exactly are members of the Church? Only the clergy? Does Christ address only clergymen in the Gospels? Are they alone the city on the mountain, the light in the home? If such were the case, the great honor of the clergy would be totally eclipsed by the unbearable burden, to say nothing of the huge injustice. We all have our distinct place in the Church. The clergy lead the way, but the people must follow. They are the shepherds, but the people must be the sheep. Can there be a shepherd without sheep, or a general without troops? Each one of us is to be a teacher and preacher of Orthodox Christianity. Our best means of preaching is through our families — the members of our own households. The house of each Christian should resemble a temple, and their family life a Holy Liturgy. Children born and raised in joy and love, prayer and work, respect for property and law and order are a living Liturgy, a sacrifice of praise. Surely this is the way to “let our light shine before men, that they may see and glorify our Father in heaven.” (excerpts from Rev. George Dimopou;os, Orthodox Sermons.
We need “boots on the Ground.” We are in a conflict. Christian persecution is all around us. We need Preachers to stand in the gap and preach the Truth of God’s Word! And we need them today.