Acknowledging Our Shared Brokenness,
by Margot Nelson

As we approach the annual commemoration of Jesus’ crucifixion and subsequent resurrection, we are called again to the question, “What is the point of it all?” We ponder the story once again as we journey through Lent on our way to Easter. As Christians, we live in the light (and the shadow) of this season. I have often described myself as one of the Easter people, people for whom (as Pr. Randy discussed in a recent sermon) “God’s love for each of us has been made real in Jesus.” In that sermon, Pr. Randy also explained that it is our brokenness that made Jesus’ life—and his gruesome death—necessary!

What do we do with our shared human brokenness, the brokenness that spawned such a tragedy (Jesus’ crucifixion) and such a glorious victory (his resurrection)? What a divine contradiction! In chapel on the last day of February, Cindy Hoy, the Director of Spiritual Services at Sanford/USD Medical Center, shared the description of a Japanese art form that may possibly serve as a model for addressing our brokenness. Kintsugi is a type of Japanese art in which broken pottery is repaired with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold to restore its integrity with even more beauty than when it was whole and unbroken. The gold threads preserve the brokenness as part of the history of the piece—to be acknowledged and embraced rather than disguised.

Pr. Randy reminded us that God is most present in the brokenness and suffering of this world. God is in the midst of the pain, distress, and tragedy that seems to buffet us from every side. So might our journey through Lent, where we acknowledge our imperfection and embrace our brokenness, be an opportunity to celebrate and make visible the cracks in our human weakness and the golden love of God that fills them? God’s love is made manifest in his healing presence and in our frail human capabilities to show up as fellow sojourners and ministers to each other.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Stephen Ministry Series
Six OSL members completed the Stephen Ministry series class that met from January through March: Karen Andrisen, Deb Thormodsgard, Sherri Bloch, Lavada Woods, Michelle Black, and Beth Rickel. Five of these students—Karen Andrisen, Sherri Bloch, Lavada Woods, Michelle Black, and Beth Rickel—have decided to be commissioned as Stephen Ministers, which will occur during the 8:45 a.m. Celebrate worship service on April 15. Congratulations!

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