In a sermon long ago I mentioned that I would love to have a plant in my office but that I would just kill it. That week a parishioner brought a plant and told me that it could die, but it would be very hard to kill it. It’s been nine or so years since that encounter and the plant is still alive, but I’ve sure almost killed it more than once!
At every move I would leave the plant for last. At each transition point it reminded me of the many holy conversations that I had and the many that I would have in my next place. After the last Sunday, you could find me with my vestments in one hand and the plant in the other. I would place it on the floor of the passenger seat in my car and drive it to its next destination.
The first thing in my new office? The plant, of course . . .
Today we shared a word about recognizing how broken we are, recognizing our need for salvation. I called for us to reflect on that brokenness, on the brokenness of the world so that we could connect with the hunger in our souls for healing, wholeness, for salvation.
We are all messed up like a person
compromised with impurity;
even all our right efforts are like soiled
Isaiah 64:6 (The Voice Bible)
After lunch today I entered my office and knocked over my plant. The clay pot is now in pieces but the plant is still alive, soil clinging to its roots, just waiting for another pot.
Our lives are like that, we trip and they become fragmented. It would be easy to panic and just toss it all away as if beyond repair, hopeless. The scripts running through our souls about our worthiness, our propensity to sin, our identity questioned.
The Good News of Jesus is that the soil of grace clings to the roots of God’s image in us, all we need is to open ourselves to the new pot, the new trajectory, the new life that God is making possible.
So there’s hope! O Come, O Come Emmanuel!