I was suitably impressed a few Sundays ago when Pastor Stu courageously bared his ‘sole’ to the Helensvale congregation to demonstrate How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news”. Isaiah 52:7

Somewhat less impressive was the response, with only a few folk removing their shoes, some gesticulating, and a couple of ribald comments; but we won’t go there.

Here’s a few more reasons I came across for taking off your shoes…

  • After a day at the Mall or the Footy your shoes will be harbouring about 421,000 units of bacteria.
  • Going barefoot strengthens muscles weakened by constricting footwear.
  • Encourages better communication between foot and brain and thus better balance.
  • Enhanced circulation.
  • Air quality in the home is improved. (Not sure about this one.)

Most cultures tend to remove shoes before entering homes or places of worship and indeed, Moses was told to remove his sandals while in the presence of God.     Shoes seem to be a symbol of all that is dark and dodgy.    This thought is well demonstrated by Imelda Marcos’ collection of at least 2,700 pairs (valued at up to $2million) amassed at the expense of a poor suppressed population.     Looks like shoes represent the profane side of life, the Self, the Old Nature.

My ‘olde’ Scottish Pastor used to revel in a tale about a Zulu Warrior, who, when asked by a missionary how his spiritual life was going replied, “It’s like there are two dogs within me.   One black, the other white and they never stop fighting.”   “Which one is winning?” he was asked.    His reply, “Why, the one I feed, of course!”

Laying aside the soiled shoe of our old nature before gathering to worship could well be a step in the right direction.


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