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Sunday, February 22, 2015

gathering the pieces, sunday

Sunday, February 22

Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.
Opening Prayer: O Lord our God, help us to be faithful to gather what you have provided for our hearts and souls this day—that we may feed on you and live.  In the name of Jesus, the bread of life.  Amen.
Scripture Reading for the Day: John 6:1-14

Reading for Reflection:
     The call came at about 9:30 pm on a typical Thursday evening in early December.  I had just returned home from somewhere or other and was talking with my wife in the living room about the events of the day when our son called on his cell phone to ask if he could go to the church coffee shop with some friends.  As she spoke to him there was an abrupt halt in the conversation—a significant amount of panic and anxiety filled her usually calm face.  Our son, as his mother was listening, had just been involved in an automobile accident.  I quickly got news of his location and headed for the door—not being able to get there fast enough.  Fears and prayers consumed the drive until I reached the scene.  As I arrived I saw him—in one piece, unhurt—standing with a few friends in the midst of the broken glass and police lights and passersby.  My only desire at that moment was wrap my arms around him—which I did as he began to express his sorrow and sadness.  “I’m so sorry.  I’m so sorry,” was all he could say; which was met only by my relief and gratitude that he was unhurt.
     “I’m just so glad you are okay.”
     So we stood there in the middle of the road and waited as reports were written and information was exchanged and wrecker services were called.  Looking down at my feet all I could see was broken pieces… glass, plastic, metal, etc.  The pieces were littering the street—such an appropriate description of the scene in general—broken.  Broken glass.  Broken pieces.  Broken hearts.  Broken world.  Broken.
     That’s when the words came.  Words that I had been captured by months before that were returning at just the right time.  “Gather the pieces that are left over.  Let nothing be wasted.”  Words that offered such comfort and hope.  Words that spoke of God’s heart and God’s presence, even in the midst of the broken pieces of this life.  It was as if Jesus was saying to me, “I am here.  I am with you even in the brokenness.  Gather the pieces and you will find me.  You are not alone in this.  With me nothing is wasted.  I will use even the most broken situations to mold and make you into the amazing creation that I have always longed for you to be.”
     What a crazy world this is that we live in—a world where brokenness is unfortunately a part of life.  Death and suffering, war and violence, conflict and strife; from anger, hatred, and racism to hurricanes, tornados and tsunamis.   We can’t avoid it, or deny it, no matter how hard we may try.  But the beautiful thing is that brokenness does not have the last word—wholeness does.  For no matter how broken the heart, or the life, or the circumstance, we have this amazing God who says, “With me nothing is wasted.  Gather the pieces, I am in the midst of them.”

Reflection and Listening: silent and written

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself    
Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you that you are present in the midst of the broken pieces of this day.  May we find you there as we gather them up and may it help us to trust both your provision for us, as well as the goodness of your heart.  Amen.

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