…. your shoes: the readiness to announce the Good News of peace. (Eph 6:15 GNB)
In our house of two people there are a great many shoes, quite a few of them in a pile near the front door. We have all kinds of shoes. Shoes for posh occasions like weddings or parties, and shoes for every day; shoes for relaxing in and shoes for working in; strong shoes and ‘dainty’ shoes (those ones are probably not mine); sports shoes for playing badminton and gardening shoes; summer shoes and winter shoes; shoes we only wear when we have to, and shoes we just can’t bear to throw away. Shoes with laces, shoes with buckles, shoes with neither. We have more shoes under the bed upstairs, just in case the ones downstairs suddenly wear out. We have hundreds of shoes – and that’s only a slight exaggeration. There are more in the garage: walking boots, for those long tramps over the hills that I really will start doing one day; and wellington boots, for jumping in puddles.
I wonder which of these shoes most resemble the shoes Paul had in mind when he wrote Ephesians 6? Perhaps he was thinking of the simple sandals that left the disciples needing their feet washed every time they ventured out on the dusty roads. Or was it the much stronger footwear used by the Roman army on their long marches across the country?
Or could it be that actually any kind of footwear would fit the bill? Ephesians 6 talks of the spiritual equipment we need in order to serve the Lord. And having the right shoes on is somehow like being equipped, ready to share the Gospel.
So maybe any of my shoes can be seen as ‘the boots of the Gospel’. Because whatever I’m doing, wherever I’m going, I will hopefully have the right shoes for the occasion. And wherever those shoes take me, I must be ready to share the Good News of the Gospel with those I meet – whether in the garden, over the fence; or in the supermarket; or playing sports; or visiting friends and relatives; working or relaxing. Every situation requires different shoes – but every situation also requires me to be ready to talk about the Lord Jesus.
Now, what shoes am I wearing today?