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10 December 2017

 

Sunday 10th December - Ezra 9: 6 - 15

Ezra - Repentance and Rebuilding

 

Repentance and readiness are two major themes for the season of Advent.  Reflection and recognition of how far we are from following God’s purposes in our lives, and a desire to clean up our act and be ready for the coming of Christ.

Ezra could see clearly the damage which sin had done to the relationship between God and the people of Israel. The destruction of the Temple and the walls of the city of Jerusalem, the exile of the people, and the dissolute lives of the remnant, were all visible signs of the people’s remoteness from God’s love and promises.  How could life be brought back to this people?

Revival always starts with prayer. The great revival movements in this country and others were founded first on a recognition of the depths of people’s spiritual and physical poverty, followed by deep repentant prayer and a call to be restored to the people God wanted them to be. In 1928 Archbishop Davidson wrote that "Wesley practically changed the outlook and even the character of the English nation." A year later in Uganda, the ardent transforming prayers of two men, Joe Church and Simeon Nsibambi, lit the first sparks of the tremendous East African Revival which swept through Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya with effects more lasting than almost any other revival in history

In the lectionary reading for tomorrow we see John the Baptist beginning the greatest ever revival, with his call to repent and return to the Lord.

May we, this Advent, turn our hearts to prayer for our suffering world, that revival and restoration may come again.

 

 

For further reflection, please read “In Touch with God: Advent meditations on biblical prayers” by Michael & Rosemary Green, pages 42 - 46