My journey to attend a business meeting in Switzerland the other week included taking a train from Genève Airport to the small town of Martigny. I haven’t been to Martigny previously, but I found a hotel within walking distance of the railway station, arriving just before the sun began to set over the mountains.
When expressing my delight at the mountain views the next day to my Swiss colleagues they advised that these mountains weren’t especially high or mountainous as mountains go in Switzerland. It didn’t matter to me how high or mountainous the mountains were because they stood in stark contrast to the topography where I live, which although hilly is definitely not mountainous. To me the mountains were beautiful, and they reminded me both of a verse in Isaiah about mountains and of the fact that Jesus taught perhaps His most famous sermon while standing on the side of a mountain (Matthew 5: 1-11).
Part of the message that Jesus gave on the mountain was that God blesses those who realise their brokenness and their need for forgiveness. I have just started to read a book by Kyle Idleman entitled ‘The End of Me.’ In the first chapter (Broken to be Whole) Kyle talks about the brokenness of the prostitute who washed the feet of Jesus with her tears and dried them with her hair, while Jesus was a guest at the home of a religious leader who had failed to extend the courtesy of foot washing to his guest (Luke 7: 36-50). The lady in question also anointed Jesus’ head with perfume.
I was in tears reading Kyle’s explanation of this event, as I became overwhelmed by my own brokenness, and the explanation offered by Kyle that brokenness is the way to wholeness. I hadn’t thought too much before about the need for acceptance and understanding of my brokenness, or that Jesus becomes most real in our lives when we begin with the end of the me that usually dominates our days instead of Him. I’m still thinking about what that could mean and challenged by the knowledge that I need to listen more carefully to Jesus.
How lovely on the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who announces peace and brings good news of happiness, who announces salvation, and says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7 NASB)