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Listen while you read: "While Shepherds Watched"1 (Lyrics)
Amos 9:11 – In that day I will restore David's fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be. (NIV)
Years ago, I was given a box of broken plastic airplanes by a member of the church that I served. She knew that I enjoyed putting together First World War airplane kits, so she gathered a box of her late brother's model airplanes for me. It was a like a treasure chest. All of the models were broken, but they had been meticulously hand-painted by the woman's brother. For the next couple of months, I happily repaired each biplane until most of them were fully restored. It was a labour of great joy to me, and years later, I still enjoy the planes.
When the prophet Amos spoke to his people from God, his words must have cheered the hearts of his people. They were broken and disunited; they felt forsaken and were fearful for their lives. God's words through Amos spoke to their sorrowful circumstances and gave them hope for the future. No matter what they experienced at that time, God would once again come among His people in order to heal their brokenness and restore their favoured place in His eyes.
Advent and Christmas are normally times of goodwill and hope for many people. There are, however, some folks whose lives are touched with sorrow or sadness. They find it hard to experience the merriment and joy that everyone else possesses. They feel isolated from the world, broken by separation and pain, and sometimes abandoned or forsaken by God.
Advent is a looking forward to a special time when Christ will return to be with His people, to heal them of their hurts and to restore them to God's kingdom. As Christians, our responsibility is to share those hopes with the world, especially with those lonely people who need to have their spirits lifted and reconnected to God.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for being our Redeemer and for restoring us to God's favourable kingdom. Help us to reach out to those people among us who are going through difficult and lonely times. Grant us words and ways to enable them to reconnect themselves to Your love and grace. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.
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