Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old foundations; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings. -Isaiah 58:12 NIV
During this season of Lent, as the North American Lutheran Church journeys from Ashes to Easter, we gather as the Body of Christ as Christians have done for nearly 2,000 years in preparation for celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
On our Lenten journey, in the NALC Missions Office and with our five national mission teams, we are studying and centering our time together in Scripture around the word “equip.”
The root meaning of the word equipping (katartizo)in classical Greek describes what a doctor does. A doctor “equips” a body that has brokenness.
Equipping is to put what is broken into right relationship with the rest of the body. Whether it’s setting a bone or popping a shoulder back into place, the doctor sees each individual part while simultaneously seeing the whole.
Any EMT, doctor or nurse will explain that it is futile to put a small bandage on a big problem. The same is true in our relationship with God, but how often are we satisfied with the quick fix?
God desires more than that. He desires restoration — all of the wrongs being made right, brokenness healed and sin atoned for — that we may come in and go out both now and forevermore. It is the wholeness of the shalom of God.
As disciples — followers of Jesus Christ — we are content no longer to simply be “believers,” for we have had an encounter with the unwavering grace of Jesus Christ who has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of His Son, in whom there is the redemption and forgiveness of sins.
As we journey to the cross and empty tomb this year with stirred hearts, we recognize this as a time of “equipping,” where the Great Physician takes what is broken and puts it into right relationship with the rest of the body.
Sin has corrupted and distorted our relationships with God and each other. During this season we will be asking tough questions about the lies we believe about our identity as children of God; confessing our brokenness; asking what we need to be healed of; and finally, what we need to lay down so we can be truly free that, as followers of Jesus, we may live into what God is setting right, fixing, repairing and restoring.
Jesus is the ultimate “Repairer of Broken Walls” or “Repairer of the Breach,” and through His death and resurrection, our lives are now built on the Solid Rock, the Ebenezer, the Cornerstone. And not only that, we have been invited into the great journey, for our lives to serve as an Ebenezer — a testimony, a real-life object lesson that we can confess, standing on the shoulders of the giants who have come before, that we too may be called “Repairer of Broken Walls and Restorer of Streets With Dwellings.”