Bible Readings 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)
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1. 18)
A Thought If you have been watching the ‘Madame Leblanc Mysteries’ on television, you will know that widow, Jean White, is an art expert. This is how she gets roped into solving so many crimes by the local police in the south of France. In a recent episode, the more observant of you may have picked up a reference to Kintsugi, the Japanese art of golden joinery. This particular type of art is also known as kintsukuroi meaning golden repair.
When a ceramic bowl is damaged or broken, it is carefully pieced together again and mended using a lacquer mixed with powdered gold or silver. The cracks and flaws are drawn out and highlighted by the gold. These golden threads represent significant moments in the life of the object. The idea is that the breakage and repair become an important part its history, something to be valued rather than thrown away as worthless.
This concept appeals to me and reminds me of Paul’s writing to the church in Corinth. In his second letter, Paul talks about having treasure in earthen pots. He talks about being hard pressed, persecuted, and struck down, damaged or broken through the harsh realities of life, but not completely destroyed. We all have challenges and difficulties that affect us during our lives, some more deeply than others. There can be a cracks and flaws associated with those difficulties and we carry that brokenness around with us from then on. However, it doesn’t have to destroy us through anger, resentment or bitterness. When we allow Jesus to deal with the cracks and flaws, he is able to restore us and create something beautiful in our lives instead.
All of this can seem like foolishness to many, and yet the brokenness and the blemishes become an even more beautiful testimony to God’s saving power and compassionate grace. In similar way, the cross seemed the biggest tragedy of Jesus’ life and ministry. Reigning in glory, Jesus still retains the marks of crucifixion visible in his hands, his feet and his side, golden wounds which bear witness to the power at work in raising him from the dead.
Lord, take our brokenness and create something even more beautiful in our lives, so that others see you shining through the cracks and flaws. Amen.
An example of Kintsugi, golden joinery