This world is a broken place. It has been this way for a long, long time. Even "saved by the blood of the Lamb" Christians are not exempt from this brokenness. Yes, it is true the Spirit fills Christians and they may walk by the Spirit and live by the Spirit, but Christians remain a broken people in a broken world where there is groaning in the ongoing journey toward divine repair. Sometimes we are aware of the cracks and the missing pieces. Other times, we do not see the fractures.
The stories in this issue of Shalom News explore various experiences of brokenness. Some of them may break your heart. Some may make you cry. Some might make you realize that we unwittingly participate in systems that create brokenness for others, including other brothers and sisters in Christ. All of them offer hope for a coming future.
Sometimes, all we can do is echo the Psalmist (123:3), "O Lord, have mercy," repeat with the tax collector (Luke 18:13), "God show mercy to me, a sinner," and declare with the saints, "Kyrie eleison." Our hope of complete wholeness lies in the eschaton, so, "Come Lord Jesus" (Rev. 22:20). sn
Brinton Rutherford is a LMC staff member who works at missional Anabaptist identity, core values, and leadership development. He attends Willow Street Mennonite Church.
Unlike Jesus, I do not often weep. My confession is not meant to be a badge of honor or to bestow guilt. In fact, if it were not for my family and the Oxford Circle congregation I pastor, my ability to weep would be limited to the last college basketball game I played in 1986. I was terribly embarrassed when I wept in front of the young woman who would eventually become my wife, only to learn years later Rosalie was relieved because it gave her hope that she was not dating an emotionles robot!
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In the story of Jonah, God shows his faithfulness and love to all humankind, not just to those who are
faithful. Jonah focuses on the brokenness of the Ninevites but fails to realize the extent of his own
brokenness. The Ninevites and Jonah showed their brokenness in disobedience to God. Through their
repentance and obedience they were able to restore their relationship with God.
In mid-November, Shalom News asked if I would consider writing an article about brokenness. Perhaps it
was no coincidence that just five days later I slipped while blowing leaves from our house roof and broke
my right hip.
I grew up in a community of people from different countries and with various immigration statuses.
Some were undocumented factory workers who spoke little English, others had waited four or five years
to acquire citizenship, and a number were American citizens whose parents had come to the United
States years ago.
In the beginning, Jesus the Word was with God...all things came into being through him (John
1:1-2 NRSV). Wisdom danced as God created us, very good, in God's image (Proverbs 8). From
God's perspective, there was no shame in anything created!