In my prayers and preparations for both our Soul Feast services and Service of Healing Prayer this month one word kept being placed on my heart and into my thoughts. Restoration. And this idea that true healing does not come from the new but instead comes from being restored. Restored and reconnected to the goodness that always has and always will reside inside us. Restored to the who and how God created us. Restored to our true selves. That is healing.
When the bible tells us that Christ came to “redeem and restore mankind” it offers a whole lot more than just forgiveness. Someone at some point explained it to me this way. To simply forgive a broken person is like telling someone running a marathon, “It’s okay that you’ve broken your leg. I won’t hold that against you. Now finish the race.” That is cruel; to leave them disabled that way. No, there is much more to our redemption, our restoration. The core of Christ’s mission is foretold in Isaiah 61:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release ... for the prisoners. (v. 1)
The Messiah will come, he says, to bind up and heal, to release and set free. What? Your heart. Christ comes to restore and release you, your soul, the true you. This is the central passage in the entire Bible about Jesus, the one he chooses to quote about himself when he steps into the spotlight in Luke 4 and announces his arrival. My prayer is that we take Jesus at his word, ask him in to heal all the broken places within us and restore them into one whole and healed heart, and that we ask him to release us from all bondage and captivity, as he promised to do. As Scottish author George MacDonald prayed, “Gather my broken fragments to a whole ... Let mine be a merry, all-receiving heart, but make it a whole, with light in every part.”
I am excited to announce that we will be having a Fall Festival and Blessing of the Animals event on Sunday October 28th. See the Life Line weekly email and the website for all the details. https://www.lifeinthecityaustin.org
I hope to see you on campus and around the neighborhood soon.