Posted by Craig Borlase on 16 January 2015

We’re two weeks in and the ‘new’ in New Year gloss and sheen has faded, hasn’t it? Already we’ve seen too much of the kind of Breaking News that shocked us in 2014, and the chances are that you’ve already been let down, disappointed or forced to change plans unexpectedly. 

At some point in the last decade a whole bunch of churches learned a vital lesson in the art of communication. We learned what any American waiter and waitress knows: that it’s good to smile, be cheerful and give visitors a sense that they’re special. It was a good lesson to learn.

For some people things have gone a little too far. Somewhere in the talk about our church services being ‘life changing’ and ‘the highlight of the week’, in the language of ’encounters’ and ‘journeys’, there’s a pressure to deliver - or to receive - more than can be sustainably delivered week in, week out. 

Yet whatever your approach - whether you’re fully optimistic about the future and are feeling strong, or whether you’re just a little too close to the edges and are feeling the weight of real life - maybe there’s something helpful to be found in this.

Tea Bowl 1

At one point this was a broken tea bowl. How it got smashed doesn’t matter so much. What counts is what happened to it once it did. An artist took the chunks of pottery and, using a Japanese method called Kintsugi, carefully repaired them. The artist mixed gold into a lacquer and made the bowl something far more beautiful than it was originally. 

The chips and cracks, the let downs and break ups, the mistakes, griefs and tragedies that will inevitably visit some among us this year don’t have to destroy us.  We don’t have to ignore them or sweep them aside. We can accept them, acknowledge them and play our small part in helping God to turn them into something truly beautiful.

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