LENTEN CONNECTIONS 2017: Brokenness

If you are reading this week’s devotional, I commend you. Reading about brokenness, and specifically our brokenness, is not something most of us find easy to do.  In fact, most of us rebel from it; at least, I do.

We read in I Corinthians 11:  Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread, gave thanks, broke it and said, ‘This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.’  I have been musing on this as of late in conjunction with reading Ann Voskamp’s book, The Broken Way.  Jesus took His brokenness and shared it with His closest friends, His disciples.

What do we mean by brokenness? Brokenness means different things to each of us.  For some, it is the many secrets that we have vowed to keep, so as to keep up the façade we are living; for others, brokenness is a great sadness that invades our life and we are constantly trying to make sense of it.  We each carry with us a sense of brokenness, but Jesus reaches out to us and encourages us:  He invites us to share our brokenness with others.  If Jesus saw the need to share His brokenness with others, how much more crucial is it for us to share our brokenness with one another?

What I have found in my work with those who have been deeply wounded by life is that when they find the courage and words to tell me what their life is like, there is a shift:  the darkness, the brokenness has been brought to the light, and the pain loses some of its heaviness; the light begins to penetrate the darkness.

We all have life experiences that have wounded us on some level.  When we accept that church is a place for messy spirituality, there is some comfort in that.  It means that I don’t have to have the Christian life all figured out.  There is an invitation that I can come to church all frumpy!  I can come with my questions of doubt and fear.  It means that you will be okay with my brokenness and I will be okay with yours.  It means we are walking together in our brokenness and, together, we are trying to figure out how to live in this world with our brokenness.

During this season of Lent we often give up something we enjoy to remember the sacrifice of Christ.  What if, during this season, we lean in and share our brokenness with one another?  We unload the weight of our backpacks with each other?

As you meet with your friends for coffee, may you find the courage to share your brokenness with each other and, in turn, may you receive and give the gift that comes from sharing the burdens of your heart.  For some, it may be beneficial to start by sharing your brokenness with a pastor or mental health professional; maybe for some it might be good to seek out a spiritual director to help you with your brokenness, so that you may truly experience the wonder and the power of the resurrection.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, We don’t always understand the actions, the hurtful words and deeds of another.  It is hard to understand why you don’t always intervene.  But we do trust that you will redeem the pain and bind up the wounds.  Father, be near to those who have unspeakable pain.  Give them courage to find the words to speak their pain.  Hold all of us in the palm of your hand as we journey through this life.  For many of us, we walk this life with a limp, a reminder of our own wounds.  Come Lord Jesus, heal . . . restore . . . redeem those who carry heavy burdens of their own brokenness.  Amen.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (NIV)

Click to Listen: “No Not By Might” – Robin Mark

Submitted by Winn Reitema

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