Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Useless as a broken pot

"I am as Useless
As a Broken Pot"
Psalm 31:12b

She is 98 years old now and sharp as a tack. She loves to come to our weekly bible study. It was my first time as the new "priest in charge" and I asked folks to pick a phrase that "jumped out at them" and we went around the table.
There was a crisp energetic flat footed statement that was presented in a way that few could debate.
God knows we all feel useless from time to time. And at the age of 98, one could hardly question the validity of these exact words.
"Why am I still here?"
I've heard it time and again.
Then another said; "I've done some terrible things in my life."
I think he's in his 80's.
There was talk then of the crucifixion.
There was conversation of our complicity in the act of violence on the Innocent One.
Then we wondered about why God wanted things this way.
We focused then on Love, Forgiveness and Eternal Life.
The powers and principalities of this world see power in one way.
God's power is expressed in an entirely different kind of way.
King Jesus brought the outcasts up to the Temple and turned our concept of power upside down.
The outcasts and the sinners that followed Jesus were not only the beloved of God, they were worth dying for.
Then the conversation went on to focus on the One who is lifted high upon the cross so that everyone might come within his saving embrace.
It went further to proclaim that forgiveness is the necessary precondition for all grace.
First came the Love
Then came the Forgiveness.
Then came the Grace.
Then came amends to those wronged.
Then came amendment of life.
But it began with the Love that flowed from the cross.
This is what draws the world toward him.
The love that conquers the sins of the whole world.
The man in his 80's began to say;
"Does that mean that Jesus can forgive me?"
"Yes, and even more, it means that Jesus loves you."
"You mean I am forgiven?"
"Yes, that is the necessary precondition for all Grace!"
Wouldn't that be wonderful if it were true.
We may think of ourselves as useless broken pots.
But we are much more than that.
We are the Beloved of God, Forgiven, Reconciled, and alive forever!
My 98 year old friend smiled broadly!
Fr. Paul


Chuck Riffee said...

Amen. Thank God for this word, and for you, Fr. Paul.

Fr. Paul said...

Chuck, the older I get, the more closely I listen to the ones older than me!

marthasway said...

I stake my life on that penultimate sentence. Although I am but a broken pot, the shards can be beautiful and useful, providing drainage in a newer pot or even as tesserae for a mosaic. In Christ, all things are possible.