2019 Theme for Europe

Our world is broken. There is a gap, a disconnect, between how we know things could be, how God intended them to be, and how they really are. Every area of society, from education to government to family, is affected by this brokenness - and so are we.

Each one of us carries some brokenness within us. We all bear scars from hurts and disappointments and tragedies in our own lives. It can be tempting to hide our scars from the rest of the world and pretend that we are whole rather than expose our broken pieces. It can be painful to be vulnerable, to show others our true selves, cracks and all.

We can try to fix ourselves. We can fill the cracks in our lives with things we think will help make us look or feel whole again, but in the end nothing really works for long, nothing truly repairs the damage, we just learn to live with it.

Have you ever heard of Kintsukuroi?

It’s the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer that has been mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. It’s more than just a technique for fixing something, it is also a philosophy that sees breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise or a reason to throw it away. Once something has been repaired this way, every crack gleams with gold, catching and reflecting the light, highlighting rather than hiding each line and imperfection. As a result of this process, the object is considered even more beautiful and valuable than before it was broken.

Now obviously, we are not ceramic bowls. People are much harder to fix than pottery, and we need more than glue and a steady hand to restore what’s broken in us. In order to truly heal our brokenness we need to allow ourselves to be re-formed by the one who first created us. Ephesians 2:10 says we are God’s “poeima”, a Greek word that is often translated in modern English as “workmanship” which doesn’t just refer to something being made but is reference to the quality imparted to a thing in the process of making it. As the master craftsman, God is the only one who can make something beautiful out of our brokenness, who can fill the cracks we have with love and truth and belonging. This same verse tells us that we are “...created in Christ Jesus for good works...”, so we are not re-made just for our own benefit, but so that we can take those things we have suffered and use them to demonstrate His love and grace to others who are hurting