". . . and I will bring my people Israel back from exile. They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them." - Amos 9:14
The last few times I've taken my malfunctioning cell phone back to the dealer, I've been informed that it's much cheaper and more convenient to get a new one.
And I remember the days when there was a tailor on the premises of most dry cleaning stores to restore the wearability of fine garments.
The modern push toward replacement instead of repair seems paramount.
Most sociologists predict that 40 to 50 percent of couples who marry in America will end in divorce due to an array of irreconcilable differences.
Since the mid-70's, stricter sentencing mandates, stark budget shortfalls and a widespread punitive philosophy of being 'tough on crime' has made today's prisons much less likely to rehabilitate their inmates.
And there is ample evidence that the fissures in our society between race, political party, class and income are becoming wider and deeper.
But the power of Advent is the hope of restoration.
It is the belief that failed relationships are not forever doomed.
It is the conviction that dry bones in valleys of demise can live again.
It is the promise that broken and abandoned human habitations can be rebuilt.
It is the confidence that God is still in this world—reconciling all that was lost and forsaken back to life and liberty.
Come Lord Jesus, and give us the perseverance we need to penetrate the darkness of despair and allow your power of restoration to work through us.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.