We come this morning –
Like empty pitchers to a full fountain,
With no merits of our own.
O Lord – open up a window of heaven,
And lean out far over the battlements of glory,
And listen this morning. (James Weldon Johnson)
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. (Psalm 51:18; context)
This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “B” is for brokenness. When I was a kid, I used to play this game that made the other three members of my family groan. I would take a cookie and break it in half. Then, I would stick the two halves together, hold them up, and ask, “Is it together or apart?” After a few years of this, my sister, mom, and dad made a pact with each other that they wouldn’t answer when I asked the question. Eventually I stopped. Then I became a priest, and now I spend my Sunday mornings tearing loaves of bread in half. And these loaves are most definitely “apart.” (Oh, God’s cosmic humor.)
When we break the bread during Holy Communion, we do so because there is no other way to share it. We break the bread in order that, over the course of a lifetime (and an afterlifetime), we may find wholeness in the God who dwells in that very bread. Church is for broken people. It would be for whole people, too, but there aren’t any of those. You see, every one of us is broken, and you might think this is bad news. But it’s not.
Broken things – like vases or radiators – have cracks in them. Broken people do, too. And it is through these cracks that God shines into and out from us. God is with us in our brokenness, repairing us so that we might one day participate with God in our rebuilding. As God remodels the cracks out us of, God leaves windows behind, through which to shine.
Know that God is with you in your brokenness. God loves you no matter how broken you may be. And like a bone that heals back stronger after a break, our brokenness gives God the opportunity to come in and make us better.
Dear God, you are whole and you are holy. Help me to allow you to continue to create me into a less broken person, who always chooses the paths that lead to wholeness. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
I leave this moment with you, God, taking hope in the overarching reality that you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.