January 2022

A few years ago, I shared a story about a unique evening Communion Service that a pastor put together one New Year’s Eve. The pastor took pieces of colored glass, numbered each piece on the back, and then distributed them to each person in the congregation as they entered the church that night. Just before Communion, he had each member come to the front of the church and place his or her piece of glass on a numbered spot on a sticky piece of clear acrylic. Without any explanation he then proceeded to serve the congregants Communion.
When the Pastor finished, he reminded the congregation of how they were each like broken pieces of glass, irregular and uneven in their commitment to Christ. He then proceeded to hold up the acrylic glass to which the various pieces of glass were now attached. The palate looked like a jumbled mass of broken glass. Then the pastor did something amazing. He turned the church lights off and taking out a flashlight, he shined its light from behind the glass. Suddenly the pieces all fell into a meaningful and beautiful picture of the church. As the congregation stared in awe, the pastor simply said, “We are all broken and jagged pieces of debris; but together, with the light of Christ shining through us, we become something truly beautiful for the community to see.
That little story inspires me every time I read it. We have come through two years in which our world has seemed to be falling apart like so much shattered pieces of glass. But it has been the light of Christ that has helped us trust in his artistic sovereignty. I like what writer and theologian, Eugene Peterson, once said: “All the persons of faith I know are sinners, doubters, uneven performers. We are secure not because we are sure of ourselves but because we trust that God is sure of us.” When we come together, it is the stickiness of God’s grace and forgiveness that keeps us together and when the light of Christ shines through, the world sees the real church—brokenness blended in beauty. Nothing more; Nothing else; Nothing better. As we enter a new year, let us rejoice in the light and do our best to shine brightly through the fog of Covid, and point people to the healing of the cross.
Pastor Mike