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The Great Restoration Project

By Paul Wetzig, Project Officer – Discipleship 

Have you ever broken a favourite item? Maybe it was a beloved coffee cup that made your mornings extra special, and one day, it fell from the dishrack and cracked. Maybe it was a toy that you loved playing with, but one day, you played a bit too hard, and the wheels literally fell off! Or maybe it was a piece of clothing you loved, and it got ripped or stained in a way that made it not nice to wear anymore.

We can probably all recall something precious to us that has somehow been damaged and has created a sense of great sadness at the loss and the damage that’s been done. And I’m sure we’ve all wondered what can be done to repair our precious item and restore it to the way it was so that it can be enjoyed and cherished once again.

One of my favourite forms of art is the Japanese practice of Kintsugi – the unique and traditional art of repairing broken, chipped, and cracked pottery using lacquer and gold. It’s an art form that most often takes practical items like cups, bowls, or plates made from pottery that have been broken in some way and seeks to mend them.

Supposedly, this repair method started in the 14th century when the favourite tea bowl of a Japanese army commander broke and none of the usual ways of repairing it wouldn’t work. Tasked with finding a solution to restore the bowl, his craftsmen recognised that the way they always did things wasn’t going to work this time. So, they devised a way of fixing it that not only restored it but made it more beautiful in the process. As a result, this special item became even more precious and a thing of greater beauty because someone recognised its inherent value and, through time, patience, and love, worked with the damage to restore it.

During this season of Lent, we are going to be exploring the idea of restoration: how God recognises the beauty and value of all things and is seeking to restore them and maybe even make them better than they were. This reminds me that originally, things were very good until we, humanity, made some dodgy choices that resulted in relationships being broken: relationships with God, with each other, and with creation.

In this situation, of things being broken and messed up, the Bible tells and shows us how God has been patiently seeking to fix these relationships and restore things to a new and better way. Having tried a bunch of different things with different groups of people that kind of worked for a little while, God recognised that what was needed was a craftsperson with the skill, time, patience, and love to create a new and more beautiful way to repair the damage. And to this task, we discover Jesus giving his life to undertake this most enormous task as God’s craftsman.

Over the coming weeks, we will be exploring what this undertaking of Jesus looked like and what it now means for us in continuing this loving, patient, time-consuming work of restoration and the hope of creating something more beautiful out of the pieces of brokenness that surround us.

Will you join us on this exploration of God’s Great Restoration Project? We hope that you will.

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