The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice.
"Aw, nuts!" I mumbled to myself.
I had just heard glass shattering as I stood at the kitchen sink with my hands deep in soap suds. Something had fallen from the dish-drying rack beside me and onto the tiled floor.
This was the scene earlier this week as I was cleaning up after dinner. And so I knelt down and quickly picked up the largest shards from a drinking glass that was no more. Then, I sequestered the pets in another room so that no one would get too nosy or hurt.
Next, I got the hand-held vacuum cleaner and cleaned up the tiny slivers that were hiding here and there. And after all of that, I got down almost prostrate on the floor and looked for any last piece of glass evidence that I could find. I didn't want tiny paws or bare human feet encountering something sharp in the days or nights to come.
Talk about an ordeal! It was not something I wish upon myself every day, but it caused me to stop and reconsider my actions and be more careful the next time soap suds and breakable objects are involved.
That's a great example of what happens when anything is broken to pieces, right? It halts us in our tracks. It disrupts. It can cause discomfort. And it always changes things whether we like it or not. I thought about that glass incident later this week, as I was reflecting on the recent Holy Week services and festivities. In each service, congregants were reminded that Christ's body was broken for us …
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take it; this is my body" (Mark 14:22).
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers (1 John 1:16).
A shattering event. Resulting in change. And hope for eternity. For us all.
Because Christ's body was broken for us, when we submit our lives to him we also must undergo a "breaking" of ourselves—so that there is less of us and the sinfulness that battles for our hearts and minds and more of him. So that he may form and shape us into who he wants us to be in him …
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3).
"He must become greater; I must become less" (John 3:30).
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).
Yes, a "broken spirit" and a "contrite heart" is a sacrifice. But it is required in giving ourselves to the Lord. Today, ask yourself: Am I seeking to be broken so that I made be whole? And then remember: Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us. Hallelujah!
Intersecting Faith & Life:
Have you ever studied a tile mosaic before? It's a work of art that requires multiple broken shards of glass, pottery or pieces of ceramic. In order to make a mosaic, the old forms of glass, pottery and ceramic must be broken, and then grout is used to adhere all of these pieces together to make a new masterpiece. The next time you see a mosaic, think of how Christ was broken for you and now how he is asking that your life be broken so that you may be formed into a "new creation" to glorify him.