“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.’” – Isaiah 52:7
When I first prepared to sing this text 30 years ago, I realized that it wasn’t enough to sound good and have the audience discern the words I’m singing, but that I also needed to make interpretive sense of these heavily repeated lines for the ears and minds of modern audiences, both religious and secular. Surely, no one of any religious or non-religious persuasion can deny that people who share good news and promote peace are the very best kind of people.
But why FEET? I imagine our modern, first world feet are probably far smoother and cleaner and better groomed than those of our Biblical-era forbears, but even so, most of us just don’t consider our feet beautiful. The phrase is curious to our ears! For decades, singing it felt vaguely silly, even unnatural, until the first time I participated in food-washing as part of our annual Maundy Thursday service. Of course! Even the humble foot—dusty, calloused, dog-tired as it so often is—is worthy of being washed by Jesus when it carries us to places of peacemaking and good news!
Cindy Vasquez has been a part of St.Stephen's for nine years, attending with her husband, Hector, and sons Tino (17) and Milo (13). Hector and she joined the church formally in 2007. She served on the Vestry from 2009 to 2011, and was Senior Warden in 2011. Following that, she served as Diocesan Council representative. For most of her time at SSEC, she has sung regularly with the informal "Downtown" Choir, and very occasionally with the Parish ("Uptown") choir, traveling with the latter to St. Albans, England, in 2013.