From the Pastor
Restoration means many different things. To some, it means spending time with an old piece of furniture until its original beauty shines through. For others, it means months of sanding, painting and cleaning an old classic car until it looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor in 1946. For others, it may mean hours of physical therapy until the new knee works at least as good as the old one – without all the pain.
Webster’s Dictionary says to restore something is “to put or bring back into existence or use; to bring back to or put back into a former or original state.” Some would add to make it better than it was.
Restoring humanity back to an authentically positive relationship with God was one of God’s reasons for Christmas. Restoration was God’s way of bringing humanity back to their original purpose which was, as the Westminster Catechism says, “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Ever since the Garden of Eden, God has been at work restoring all of us to our original nature and purpose.
The Third Sunday of Advent is typically a day marked by joy. As we celebrate Mary’s joy of becoming the vessel through which Jesus would come, the joy of the shepherds who first heard the news of Jesus’ birth, and the joy of our deliverance from sin and death, we light the one pink candle as a symbol of all that joy.
Isaiah 35 gives us a picture of the joy of weary travelers, who learn that they are almost home. They encourage one another, strengthen hands and knees and begin singing for joy as they view their home on the horizon. Restored!
We all need restoration in our lives. For some of us, we need restoration because we made some poor decisions that took us down the wrong road. For some, other people blocked our way deliberately, and we had to look for different paths. For others, we have been wandering in the wilderness so long, we have forgotten what normal looks like. However, for every one of us, there is a homecoming, a restoration that God provides.
Let’s take the time to encourage each other, to strengthen our hands and feeble knees, to lift our heads in this Christmas season and our Deliverer, our Savior, Jesus.
The Peaceable Kingdom, Edward Hicks, circa 1833