Blessing from brokenness

Staff_team_2015 Posted by Roger Cooke on Wed, 13 Jan 2016 | 3 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

On Sunday, along with the team from Moira, I was privileged to be a part of the faith journey of 45 young people who were confirmed in St. Barnabas Cathedral, Ibba. The thatched cathedral building held about 500 people and outside there were at least as many more who were enthusiastic enough about the special service to spend the whole five hours sitting in the sun, catching glimpses and hearing snippets of the service.

The service in many ways looked entirely different from the kind of gatherings we partake in on a Sunday morning in Ireland. There was so much dancing that the dust rose enough to make us cough. There was a talk on social issues that we might usually have expected to hear in a healthcare setting. There were words we could never hope to understand without an interpreter and ululations and shouts which we could never successfully mimic, from the worship leaders.

However, when the young people who had just been confirmed came forward to take Holy Communion, there was no mistaking that we were all partaking in something that transcends culture and local tradition.

In the moment that the bread was broken for us to see, every person in that place understood the message. Each of us were transported to the brokenness of our experiences in this damaged world, each of us were reminded of our own brokenness before our Holy God. And as the broken bread was dipped in the blood-red wine, each of us was in worshipful awe of the Christ who chose brokenness, in order for ours to be healed.

To live a little while with our partners in the Diocese of Ibba has been, in many ways, an experience of brokenness. We have witnessed lives broken by war and global inequality, and we have felt our own brokenness in our responses which are unable to heal or mend with the urgency we would like. Yet, in Holy Communion together, we truly experienced the mystery of Christ broken for all, and the hope of his resurrection and healing.

I was reminded of the words in Colossians 3 v 11: ‘Here there is no Greek or Jew…slave or free, but Christ is all and is in all.’

As we rose from communion, we knew that we were God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved and that as church our only response to the brokenness we find is to…

Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience….And over all these virtues put on love which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Col 3: 12,14)



jen said Wed, 13 Jan 2016 01:07PM
Beautiful xo
Gillian Maganda said Wed, 13 Jan 2016 04:32PM
Very touching Linda - it's amazing that we as God's children have a worldwide family bound together through His love. Praying for you all xo
Roger Thompson said Thu, 14 Jan 2016 04:04PM
Very poignant Linda - glad to hear things are going well. Praying for you!

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