In a world riddled with destruction, wars, hunger, and injustice, the call to be restorers takes on profound significance.
As we open our eyes to the updated news around us, the magnitude of suffering and brokenness can be overwhelming. The devastating impact of conflicts, both overt and covert, continues to claim countless lives and shatter communities.
Hunger and poverty gnaw at the fabric of societies, leaving millions in desperation. Injustice perpetuates a cycle of oppression and marginalisation, denying countless individuals their basic rights and dignity.
In the face of such desolation, we find ourselves asking, "What can be done? Can we make a difference?"
The answer lies in embracing the call to be restorers – people who join God in His work of restoration. The Bible provides us with powerful narratives that remind us of God's heart for restoration and His invitation to participate in His redemptive plan.
Isaiah 58:6-7 echoes the divine mandate to be restorers: "Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in''.
This passage challenges us to be actively involved in healing, rebuilding, and reconciling in our communities and beyond. As restorers, we are to be agents of positive change, advocates for justice, and instruments of compassion. By living out this divine mandate, we participate in God's redemptive plan for the world, bringing hope and healing to a broken and hurting humanity.
Furthermore, the life and teachings of Jesus provide the ultimate model of restorative love. In Mark 5:25-34, we encounter the story of a woman who had been suffering from a bleeding ailment for twelve years. Her desperate faith led her to touch the fringe of Jesus' garment, believing that even this small act could restore her to health. Jesus, recognizing her faith, restored her with words of healing and comfort. This encounter exemplifies Jesus' restorative power, as He brought wholeness to a woman who had endured years of suffering.
As followers of Christ, we are called to emulate His restorative love. We are called to stand with the marginalised, heal the wounded, and lift up the downtrodden. In a world plagued by divisions and conflicts, being restorers means bridging gaps and building bridges of peace and reconciliation.
1 - How does the imagery used in Isaiah 58:6-7 inspire you to take on the role of a restorer in your community or sphere of influence? What specific areas of brokenness or injustice do you feel compelled to address?
2- The passage mentions being called the "repairer of the breach" and "restorer of streets to live in." In your context, what are some examples of breaches or divisions that need mending? How can you actively contribute to creating safe and inclusive spaces for people to live and thrive?
3 - The concept of raising up foundations of many generations suggests a long-term and intergenerational approach to restoration. How can you be intentional in investing in the well-being and development of the next generations? What practical steps can you take to ensure a positive legacy for the future?
4- As you contemplate the divine mandate to be a restorer, what challenges or obstacles do you anticipate facing? How can you overcome these challenges and remain committed to the call of restoration in the face of adversity or discouragement?
5- In Mark 5:25-34, the woman's desperate faith led her to touch the fringe of Jesus' garment, believing in the power of restoration. How can we apply this concept of faith-driven restoration in our own lives and circumstances today?
6- Jesus recognized the woman's faith and responded with healing and comfort, exemplifying His restorative power. How does this encounter in Mark 5:25-34 challenge our understanding of Jesus' character and His willingness to restore and bring healing to those who come to Him in faith?
““And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:3-5)
1- How does the promise of God's dwelling place among His people, where there will be no more tears, death, mourning, or pain, offer hope and comfort in the midst of life's trials and difficulties?
2- What significance do you see in the statement, "I am making everything new!" (Revelation 21:5), and how does this assurance of God's renewal impact our perspective on life, purpose, and the future?
3- In what ways does the concept of God dwelling with His people and wiping away every tear from their eyes shape our understanding of the ultimate fulfilment of God's redemptive plan and the restoration of creation? How does this affect our daily walk with God and our relationship with others?
Listen to the song "Under Pressure" by Queen and David Bowie.
1- How does the song resonate with the theme of restoration and the concept of being restorers who join God in His work? Are there any specific lyrics that stand out to you in relation to this topic?
2- The song talks about the pressure and stress that people face. How can the concept of being restorers offer hope and relief to those experiencing pressure and challenges in their lives?
3 - The song speaks about "insanity" and "seclusion" as potential consequences of societal pressures. How can the restorative work of God and the love of Christ counteract these negative effects and bring healing and wholeness to individuals and communities?
4 - The idea of "turning away from it all" is mentioned in the lyrics. How might being restorers compel us to resist turning away from the issues and challenges facing our world, and instead, embrace a sense of responsibility and purpose in addressing them?
5- The song implies the importance of unity and connection in the face of pressure. How can we foster a sense of community and support as we seek to be restorers together, joining hands with others to make a difference in our families, churches, and society at large?
Erica Neves is a freelance translator, and a theology teacher from Goiânia, Goiás, Brazil. She has a bachelor's and master's degree in Communication and a course in cross-cultural communication from Hald International Center, Norway. In 2021 and 2022, she participated in the essential and advanced online classes of theology at the Invisible College, a school where she is also a professor in the courses "Wisdom in Chaos," "Everyday Theology," and "Women on Mission." Erica is an active member of Tearfund UK's Young Theologians programme.
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