It was just a few Sundays ago -- the Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, February 5th -- that we read from the hopeful part of Isaiah's proclamation to the children who suffered exile away from the comforts and familiarity of their historic home. That reading finished with the powerful commendation,
"The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
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." Isaiah 58:11-12
The very same commendation is ours in the smaller but equally meaningful of repairing our properties, our historic home. The patio is a principle image for us but let’s not forget that the same encouragement that Isaiah spoke so many years ago identifies a continuing reality, not a truth bound up and done with in a single moment.
We are always to be repairers and restorers!
Especially as we have adopted the use of these antique structures: buildings, chalices, hymns, or rituals, we will ALWAYS have the duty of repair and restoration. We will always have the responsibility to care for places and things and even more so the people who come to join us in using them.
Isaiah’s words also point us to a day of glory and celebration; more Easter than Lent. He is hoping for these words to be an encouragement because the Hebrew people's return to their historic home is still to be accomplished.
We can use that same understanding and always look forward to each of those responsibilities being met and accomplished.
In other words we are always repairers, always restorers, always hoping to celebrate. Not just to celebrate the work done but to celebrate the calling to the work of returning, repairing and restoring.
Thanks be to God we have been called! We can always look forward to celebrating with God.