Jibstay

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Blessed Broken


We all heard the crack. In a moment the antique chair gave loose and the entire back structure popped off and fell to the floor. Our guest was devastated. The chair is well over 150 years old and has been in Martha's family way, way back from Pennsylvania. We all had that sick-in-the-gut feeling. But Martha dreaded calling her mom and telling her about the chair. When she did, her mom paused and then let out a big laugh. "Oh that chair? When I was a little girl my momma had some of my daddy's preacher friends over and one of them leaned back and broke the back right off!" Martha's mom is in her early 80's, so that first break was about 70 years ago. Then Martha's mom went on to tell her about her life in the parsonage, her preacher-father and the lessons they learned around that dining room table. And soon, that broken chair turned into a blessing.
I can hardly avoid all the breaks around me: Mark Foley, Bob Ney, Randy Cunningham, Mel Gibson. It seems like each new day bring up new dirt on someone. A moral indiscretion, long hidden now found out. A financial impropriety discovered. Power and authority abused. Shareholders lied to, voters duped, consumers cheated. It seems like an awful lot of energy is consumed trying to manage shame, trying to keep the lid on secrets and covering up mistakes.
Then along comes Jesus in Matthew 5:1-12 calling all the broken chairs "blessed." The list is a catalogue of failures and flops. It's a list of those who are in the back of the crowd and out of the limelight. It's about old what's-his-name. Being able to preach a great text like this is such a total gift, because if forces me to go back and hear Jesus' words to me: "Don, you're blessed exactly because you're such a goof and you know it." Blessing is all about Jesus and nothing about me and my accomplishments and achievements. He's not impressed. He jsut wants to bless.

3 Comments:

At 3:45 PM , Blogger Dan said...

Have you ever done a side by side comparison of M. 5:1-12 and M. 23- placing the beatitudes next to the woes- it's stunning to see the difference between how Jesus calls us to live in our 'broken chair-ness' and how we humans often try to handle our 'broken chair-ness'... to use your image :-)

 
At 9:06 PM , Blogger Rick said...

A song we love to sing at CTK goes:

Blessed are the broken
The Spirit of Christ
Flows through the life laid down
His Life abounds
Blessed are the broken
Given as bread
The hungry are fed
The Living Word spoken
Blessed are the broken

His body torn
His holy blood poured
Bitter was the cup
Gave His life freely
In the sight of the Lord
Now He's high and lifted up
We tremble we worship
We fall at the feet
Of the One who was broken
To make us complete
How our hearts rejoice
As He speaks

Blessed are the broken
The Spirit of Christ
Flows through the life laid down
His Life abounds
Blessed are the broken
Given as bread
The hungry are fed
The Living Word spoken
Blessed are the broken

Let the oil pour out
Through these broken vessels
Healing oil pour out
And cover the earth
As You flood us with life
That our hearts can't contain
We will give it away
In Jesus' name

Blessed are the broken
The Spirit of Christ
Flows through the life laid down
His Life abounds
Blessed are the broken
Given as bread
The hungry are fed
The Living Word spoken
Blessed are
Blessed are
Blessed are
Blessed are the broken

 
At 4:39 PM , Anonymous Isaac said...

Mother would have brained me if it had been I.

 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker