No matter who or where you are on life’s journey,
you are always sincerely welcome at the
Warrensburg Church of the Brethren!
Remembering and New Beginnings
About two years ago, when our congregation gathered for the first time after not being able to meet in person for close to a year because of COVID, Pastor Pearl Miller led us in a service of “Reclaiming our Church.” Broken pieces of pottery symbolized the broken pieces of our lives and our world. We acknowledged our individual and collective experiences of loss and grief, of time separated physically from our church building and from one another. We wrote our laments and our losses on these clay pieces.
We decided then that sometime in the future, when COVID was behind us, we would hold another service to acknowledge and celebrate the end of COVID. What we did not perhaps know then is that COVID would not likely ever be behind us. It would just take its place among other seasonal viruses. So we decided now was the time to hold our service—looking ahead to a new year of healing and light.
We have come back from our isolation, but not yet having thrown off the yoke of COVID, and all the attending issues it has presented to us. And COVID has not been the only challenge…it seems we all have borne disappointments and losses that we didn’t anticipate. We are still seeking safe, loving and creative ways to be together, to worship together, to serve together. This is a time of new beginnings.
I invite you to look at the piece you chose, read what is inscribed on it and quietly contemplate that lament and your own experience…then take your clay piece to the altar where you may offer it to be fastened to the cross, representing our remembering as people loved by God and bonded by that love to Christ and to one another.
The Japanese have a beautiful pottery repair process called kintsugi: the art of fusing broken ceramic pieces using molten gold. In the reconnecting with precious metal, the original object is transformed into a new, altogether lovely piece, once again useful, often more beautiful than before. Kintsugi shows us how to see the broken, painful parts of life as an opportunity to add strength, beauty and character. Kintsugi teaches us about accepting fragility. Things can and do fall apart. Through uninvited challenges, we grow, learn, and change.
Ann Voskamp (Canadian author of multiple books on Christian spirituality) explains that this world never stops fracturing us, causing us to forget who we are.
We’ve all been broken in small or large ways. Our losses, our fractures can be remembered through Christ, our gold bond. When we remember how God’s love has been poured out for us, our broken places are remembered, and we are healed.