'Restoration Specialists' is painted on the side of the van. In smaller letters, they point to their specialty. Often, it is restoration after floods and fires. Flooding is often the culprit that takes place in basements. Drywall, insulation, and flooring go through the process of restoration. The old must be cut out to be replaced by the new. First there is the mess, then the clean-up, and finally the restoration. The living area can now be enjoyed.
God the Father, through his Son Jesus, and the work of the Holy Spirit can also be described as restoration specialists. Jesus’ death on the cross, his resurrection, and the sending of the Holy Spirit are central to God’s plan to bring restoration to a broken humanity and a stressed creation. (Romans 8:22–23)
The last chapter in the Gospel of John invites us into Peter’s restoration by Jesus. Peter, in fear on the night of Jesus’ arrest, denied Jesus three times. Mark 14:66–72 describes Peter’s denial and then Peter’s deep remorse. Peter’s degree of sorrow may be seen in the angel’s message to the women at Jesus’ graveside. The angel said,
"But go tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you into Galilee."
Why did the angel name Peter specifically? One reason may have been Peter’s guilt. Peter, after his denial of Jesus, needed a special invitation.
A special invitation was given. Jesus, in John 21, takes the next step. He walks Peter through a process of restoration.
I am thankful John included this story about Peter. Peter is not the only one in need of restoration. All of us, at one time or another, have failed—sometimes many times. Peter’s restoration tells us there is hope for us.
"When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, 'Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?' 'Yes, Lord,' he said, 'you know that I love you.' Jesus said, 'Feed my lambs.'" (John 21:15)
I look forward to seeing you on the first Sunday in May as we rejoice in the restoration made possible for each of us through Jesus.
Father, we acknowledge you as the restoration specialist, made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus. We confess our need for your work of restoration in our lives. May we be repentant and open to the restoration process you wish to take us through? We pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.