March 15 Reflections

One of my five top favorite praise songs is “Broken Vessels/Amazing Grace).”

All these pieces
Broken and scattered
In mercy gathered
Mended and whole
Empty-handed
But not forsaken
I’ve been set free
I’ve been set free

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me, oh
I once was lost
But now I’m found
Was blind but now I see

You take our failure
You take our weakness
You set Your treasure
In jars of clay
So take this heart, Lord
I’ll be Your vessel
The world to see
Your life in me.

This song speaks into my life because I have experienced the brokenness of life: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and relationally. One example: in my former congregation there was a breakdown in relationship with a couple. A brokenness that led to a complete cutoff in communication. I think I made attempts, but none successful to lean into healing. I was challenged at a Churches Learning Change retreat, while at First Rock Valley, to contact someone where there has been a breakdown in relationship. I thought of this couple. As I opened my computer to contact them, I noticed an email from one of them. They wanted to get together over coffee. This was a God moment. A journey began with Jesus doing what Jesus does, mending broken lives.

Jesus never said the word “grace.” He was, however, the complete picture of grace. If you want to know what grace is look at Jesus. The way he loved the woman caught in adultery: grace. The way he treated Zacchaeus: grace. The woman at the well: grace. Mary Magdalene: grace. The way he restored Peter after his failure: grace. Mending broken lives is Jesus’ work.

We are going to consider this on Sunday as we look at Peter’s story of grace. The movement from self-reliance to brokenness to restoration is the story of our lives. Grace is greater than our brokenness. Jesus is greater than our brokenness. We will let Jesus do what Jesus does in our lives? Some passages to reflect on: Matthew 26:31-35; Matthew 26:69-75; John 21:7-19; Matthew 12:15-21.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn