As we have done throughout previous Lenten and Advent seasons, we are again blogging through the Lectionary readings in this Lenten season. This year, however, due to our travels in Central Asia, we have asked a number of guests to blog for us. These guests are individuals who are influential in our lives and work. We're honored to share this space with them-and with you–in this season of reflection.
A reading from Paul's Epistle to the Romans.
And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
— Romans 10:8-15 (NLT)
The day before we left Edmond to come to Central Asia, we were told we had a gift waiting for us at our home church–Acts 2. So, happily, I drove over to pick it up. It was four pair of hand crocheted booties. There was a pair for each of us. For so many reasons (cold concrete floors, you don't wear shoes inside house–to name a couple) this was one of the most practical gifts we've been given.
These booties were carefully crocheted for us by a member of our home church. Her name is Jeannie. She is a very active 89 year old lady. She teaches writing classes, Sunday School, crochets booties, and blesses everyone she is in contact with in ways one could only imagine.
The first time–and every time since–that we have put on our booties, we've whispered a prayer for Jeannie.
There's something important to notice in the Scripture reading. The whole thing about beautiful feet doesn't apply to just the one who is preaching the gospel. It applies also to those who make it possible for the “preacher” to go–the “Senders”.
“Senders” are not just those who make it financially possible for us to go to the nations.
“Senders” are those who pray for us.
“Senders” are our parents and family members who release us to go.
“Senders” are the pastors (some of whom will be writing for us in this season) in churches around the US who pastor us as we go.
“Senders” are our amazing board of directors who cover us and give us direction.
“Senders” are those who email us notes of encouragement.
“Senders” are those who Skype/iMessage/Facebook/Tweet us.
And, yes, “senders” are those who make booties that keep our feet warm.