“and you shall be called the repairer of the breech, the restorer of the streets” Isaiah 58:12
Restorer – Jesus is born to be the restorer. If we follow in His footsteps, we must also be the restorers.
The Hebrew word shuv is used more than 1000 times in the Old Testament. It has a wide range of meanings, but all of them circulate around the idea of movement back. To do again, to bring back, to answer, to recompense, to reestablish, to restore and many more. God’s heart is bent on recovering what was lost. It is fixed on repairing what is broken. It is committed to restoring what was once there. That’s why we call it salvation, not indoctrination. We are saved from something. We are brought back from death to life. The purpose of God is not to re-educate you to be a more profitable and more upright person. The purpose of God is to redeem you from destruction, to restore you to His loving care and favor. Once, long ago, when our race was created, we had full fellowship with Him. And ever since we fell away from that fellowship, God has been carefully, patiently repairing and restoring. He could have erased the whole mess and started again. The work of restoration is far more difficult. But He was not willing to let any part perish. He restores.
Isaiah has given us the mile markers. Acknowledge sin. Be broken. Don’t hide. Be a servant. Cry in prayer. Follow. Be filled. And now, restore. As Bethlehem approaches, the real Christmas message is restoration. Restoration takes these steps, each one in turn. I am called to restore what has been broken – between me and my fellow travelers, between me and my environment, between me and my world, between me and my God. Christmas will be meaningless without this. I will insult the Christ without this. He came to restore. It is His gift, a gift that I can only enjoy if I pass it to someone else.
Are you anticipating a Christmas celebration of restoration? Is that at the top of your gift list?