March 28, 2012


Luke 22:17-23

He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them.
—Luke 22:19


We often have a 1,000-piece puzzle spread out on our counter. Our artistry is minimal, but our patience is long, and our reward is beautiful.

I read of a fine cathedral window that was fashioned out of discarded glass fragments. The stained-glass artist had greater skill and worked harder than we do, but the principle is the same—turning fragments into beauty.

The Bible mirrors the continuous fragmentation of life and relationships—Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah and his sons, Abraham and Lot, Sarah and Hagar, Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his brothers (all these in Genesis!), and then Miriam and Moses, David and Absalom, Jew and Gentile, and even Paul and Barnabas.

Next week the Christian world will remember the brokenness that brought Jesus to the cross, so that we could be freed from our wretched slavery to sin (John 8:34-36). “This is my body given for you,” he said; “this … is … my blood … poured out for you.”

Jesus’ followers will break bread into fragments and call it “celebration.” And yet that will help “bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:10).

Lent is a good time to mourn our brokenness and find our wholeness in Christ.

Jesus, as we approach the week of your passion, unite us and bind us together in yourself. In your name we hope. Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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