Chapter 148 [day 245]: Wednesday 18 November
Good morning everyone
A popular TV programme that has become a national favourite over the past 12 months is The Repair Shop. Karen and I used to watch it occasionally on daytime TV but it has now been upgraded to a prime time slot. The skills of the experts are quite amazing as they repair broken and worn out objects with historical and sentimental connections for the owners. When the owners return to collect their treasured possession, they are often overcome with emotion when they see their broken objects so dramatically repaired and restored.
Restoration is bringing things back to how they were or should be and restoration is generally considered to be a good and positive process. There are many TV programmes that have restoration as their core theme: whether it be antique furniture, works of art, old broken cars, or domestic back gardens, there’s a TV programme that deals with it.
Environmental campaigners want to restore the environment and countryside and organisations like the National Trust work to restore and preserve old and historic buildings and parkland. Some people seek to restore and preserve old traditions and customs for future generations and hold on to things that they consider bring value to life.
Often and especially as we grow older, we may undergo medical procedures designed to restore parts of our body that are not working as they should – eyesight, hearing, standing, walking, digestion or even our breathing. In all these areas, restoration implies improvement – good health restored!
The schoolteacher sometimes needs to restore order in a rowdy classroom whilst the police will be called to restore order in public demonstrations that have got out of hand. Professional counsellors may be needed to help restore broken relationships – marriage, family, workers against employers etc, and in serious conflict and war, military forces will be employed to restore peace although that is often difficult to maintain.
Restoration in the Bible is synonymous with healing, repairing, returning to a previous state of being.
Psalm 51:12 "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit." Although we may stray from steadfast faith and obedience, there are numerous Bible verses about restoration we can look to for inspiration for renewal in our lives. Restoration is a recurring theme throughout Scripture as those who strayed from the teachings and love of God sought to restore their divine relationship with Him, repairing what had decayed included personal relationships, fortunes, and health.
The parable of the Prodigal Son is an example of restoration illustrated in three stages.
First he had to recognise and admit he was broken, destitute and starving. Second he had to act by returning to his father with an attitude of repentance – that is admitting he was wrong and that he could not fix the problem.
Third when he did arrive back home, he was restored, not just as a servant as he was expecting but as his father’s son. Rather like a broken possession brought to the Repair Shop and restored by the expert.
1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
Christians in this nation and across the world are increasingly concerned at the rapid degeneration of moral and spiritual values and pray for restoration of godly values and a greater personal and national spiritual awareness.
But this present situation was described in Romans 1:18-32. Next Sunday’s virtual service will be entitled ‘Transformed in Christ’ from Philippians 3 and will be highlighting some of the issues graphically described in Romans chapter 1.
o They’re enemies “of the cross,” refusing to accept that Jesus’ death is the only way that sinners can be reconciled to God.
o Their god is their stomach, so they live to indulge their appetites (whether it be food or money or fame or sex or whatever).
o They glorify their shame treating shameful things as if they were admirable.
o Their mind is set on earthly things and they think only of things which have no eternal value.
Hymnalong >>> RESTORE O LORD
· Chris Brookes has started another course of chemotherapy from yesterday and will appreciate your prayers in the coming days.
· Don’t forget the BCM Toylink appeal which was highlighted in our previous email. Each November we normally hold a ‘Toylink Service’ at which we donate NEW toys to Birmingham City Mission to be presented to needy children for Christmas. Here’s more information about BCM’s Toylink project including what toys are suitable >>> https://www.birminghamcitymission.org.uk/christmas-toylink/ There are also alternative options of either ordering a toy online and have it delivered direct to BCM, or you could make a cash donation to the Toylink project via https://www.give.net/toylink We will provisionally designate Sunday 6 December as our Toy Service Day for you to bring your gifts - subject of course to us being able to resume services by that day. If you are unable to attend on that day for any reason, let us know and we will organise to collect the toy from you.
· We are planning to collect and distribute your Chapel Christmas cards as normal. If we are able to resume Chapel services by Sunday 6 December, the usual Christmas post box will be available for you to deposit your cards. We will then organise to safely and hygienically sort the cards for distribution the following Sunday. This will be repeated the following Sunday, and for those Chapel members who are still shielding and unable to come to the Chapel, we will deliver cards to you as well as collecting any cards you wish to send.
More on Sunday