The Broken Plate

Corelle Plate

Growing up we had these great Corelle dishes, white with green floral trim.  We loved them, but there was one significant problem with them, they broke easily.  When you dropped one or knocked it off of the table, it would not just break, oh no, these things would shatter into dozens and dozens of pieces.  Shards scattered all over the kitchen floor from one end of the room to the other.  The broom would immediately come out and the floor had to be meticulously swept in order to save everyone’s feet from an unfortunate encounter.

This past weekend we celebrated the highest and most significant day for the Christian, Resurrection Sunday, also commonly called Easter.  So what does a broken plate have to do with Jesus’ Resurrection?  As I was reflecting on the meaning and significance of what Jesus did, and what His resurrection accomplished, the word ‘restoration’ came to mind.  Jesus restored  what was broken.

Brokenness extends to all of creation, as Paul writes in Romans 8, “creation has been groaning” in its “bondage to decay,” but you see, we have each broken our lives as well.  We have all ‘dropped the plate’ of our lives and broken the connection and relationship with God.  We have all made a mess of our lives.  We all have sin and decay.

I never attempted to glue any of our shattered plates back together, there were just too many pieces scattered all over that even if you could gather all of them together and start assembling them it would be a fool’s task to set it all back together for even if you managed to do it, the plate would not be very nice and it would not be strong and stable like it was before being broken.

I recognize how foolish and wasteful it would be to try and put a shattered plate back together, yet, so often, I try to put the brokenness in my life back together by myself.  I think if I can just be nice enough, if I can just be a decent guy, then people will like me and all will be good.  And, the more I think about this, I believe what we tend to do is that as we are trying to put the pieces of our lives in place, when we think we’re doing a pretty good job of it, we look down on others whose plates don’t look as good as ours, all the while the brokenness remains, the frailty remains, the pride remains.

The deep truth that I, and every other human, must understand is that I stand broken before a Holy God.  I have broken that relationship and no amount of ‘glue’ (good works, nice words to others, acts of charity, church attendance) in my life can restore that relationship, can make me who God made me to be.  I stand broken before Him and I have no defense on my own.  This is the power and majesty of the Resurrection in our lives.  Only God, through Christ, can restore the brokenness.  Sin only causes death and decay in our lives and hurts our relationships with those around us, and breaks our relationship with our Holy God.

But He, and He alone, takes my shattered life, my frailty, yes, even my stubborn pride, and brings life and healing and true restoration.  It is only through the power, grace, and work of Christ that He accomplished through His death and resurrection, that I, or any of us, can stand before God as His child.

God, may You take the brokenness in my life, the sin, the decay, the hurt I’ve done to You and to others, and bring true healing, restoration, and life.

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