Lord of Light, shine upon these words the very truth of your being, that we may read and be brought into deeper relationship with you. Amen.
Job 42:1-6, 10-17. Job recognises that he had spoken without knowledge, and that he has now encountered God. Then God blesses Job beyond the prosperity he had at first.
Jeremiah 31:7-9. God’s promise to restore all of Israel’s people, including the weak and marginalised, and bring them into a life of peace and well-being.
Psalm 34:1-8. A song of thanksgiving for God’s restoration received when the Psalmist sought God. Though the righteous have troubles, God delivers them.
Hebrews 7:21-28. Jesus is an eternal priest who constantly prays for God’s people. He doesn’t need to offer sacrifices every day because he offered himself once and for all.
Mark 10:46-52. As Jesus enters Jericho a blind man named Bartimaeus shouts out asking for Jesus to have mercy on him. Then Jesus calls the blind man, and asks him what he wants. When he answers that he wants to see, Jesus heals him, and he follows Jesus.
The Reverend Tania writes,
The Scriptures are clear – God is in the business of restoration. How this restoration happens, and what its results are, can be surprising. This week reveals the importance of restorative relationships in our experience of God’s restoration, and in the quest for a world of justice, peace and love.Every reading speaks about God’s restoring, saving work in some way. Job has a transforming encounter with God and is restored beyond the prosperity he had enjoyed before his trial. The Psalm reflects celebration at God’s restoration from trouble or from exile. In Hebrews Jesus is portrayed as the one who intercedes for God’s people and who offered himself as the only necessary sacrifice. Finally, Bartimaeus receives his sight, which not only restores his vision, but also his life.The key to these stories, though, is that they are not just about restoration of circumstances, but are about restoration of relationships, especially with God. Ultimately this is the truth in all restoration stories. It can be comforting to have our outward circumstances restored, but it is when our hearts are restored, when we are delivered from the fear, self-protection, defensiveness, and isolation our brokenness or suffering has brought on us that we are truly saved. The challenge for us this week is to be people who find our restoration in relationship with God and others, and who, as we work for justice, remember the humanity of those we serve, bringing them into safe, healing relationships.If we seek justice and restoration for ourselves, we can do well by asking who, in our communities and in our lives, need restoration and justice. As we seek to bring God’s justice to others, we often find it for ourselves. And as we allow God’s restoration to lead us back into relationships with others, we find the healing we need. May we seek to build these restorative relationships as we worship together this week.
Prayerfully, Rev. Tania.