Broken Plates & Jesus Christ

So recently we've been doing some cleaning out (really Samantha has been cleaning stuff out) to clear up some of the junk we've accrued in our house over the years and to sell some of the things we don't use regularly. In the process of purging our house, we decided to get rid of my old plates from college and these cheap charger plates we had from when we first got married. These plates had been through several moves and as you can imagine were chipped and cracked so we got rid of them without thinking much about it.

We all have a tendency to do that don't we? We see something that is broken or worn down and instead of fixing it we are apt to throw it away and simply replace it. Well, this week I learned about something that is making me rethink that approach and has made me think about my relationship with God. What is this mysterious new way of looking at broken plates and God? The Japanese mending practice of Kintsugi. Kintsugi, meaning "golden joinery" is the practice of mending broken pottery with lacquer resin with powdered gold mixed in. The result is that a broken object is turned into a beautiful piece of work, more beautiful than it was to begin with.

Kintsugi plates

Kintsugi plates

The resulting pottery is so beautiful and unique that they become highly valuable. A broken pot, plate, or cup that one moment would have been deemed worthless and unusable instead becomes a beautiful and prized possession through the delicate mending of the cracks.  I think this has something to say about our relationship with God too. Time and time again I hear people talk about how worthless they feel to God and I think at times we can all feel like that.

Recently I've been teaching Confirmation and we've been talking about the attributes of God, a God who is eternal, almighty, our creator & sustainer, personal & relational, loving, just, good, merciful, and holy. I could go on and on about what scriptures says about the nature of God and when I look at this list I can't help but feel inadequate. I look around and see the mistakes I make, the shortcomings I have, the cracks in myself and it's easy to think, am I of value? Luckily, though, we worship a God who answers our self-doubting questions with a resounding YES! We are worthy of God, not because of anything we did, but because of God's immense love, compassion, and mercy for us. 

Because of God's love he gives us Jesus to save us from our sins, to repair our cracks with gold. In Jesus our mistakes don't disqualify us from a relationship with God, but instead only further illustrate his glory, wonder, and grace. We worship and commune with a God who makes beautiful things out of broken things or as Gungor's song "Beautiful Things" says, "You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of the dust." Praise be to God.

On the Japanese mending practice of Kintsugi.

Listen to "Beautiful Things" by Gungor