The Blessings of Being Broken: A Christian Perspective

graphic of broken heart
The Blessings of Being Broken: A Christian Perspective
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About the Author

Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes

The Reverend Dr. Morar Murray-Hayes is the Minister of Maple Grove United Church, and is a member of the Interfaith Councill of Halton. A chatty extrovert with a conversational preaching style, a multi-tasker who is a “multi-worrier” when it comes to caring about people’s problems, and a leader who treasures teaming with the lay people in her church, Morar says that at Maple Grove she has experienced “a deeper level of ministry than I thought possible.” Anyone who has personally received Morar’s deeply compassionate caring and wise counsel will testify to what an inspirational, healing and encouraging ministry it is.

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Perhaps we don’t boast about this, but one of the marks of a Christian is that we are broken.

Not ‘in’ to be broken
It’s not that great to be broken in our time or place. Sometimes the implications are world shattering. Poor Neymar has not only a broken back, but broken dreams as well.

The reality is that we are all broken. From the outside, we strive to look so perfect. But Christians know in a particular way that we aren’t.

Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, is not with the others when they see the risen Christ. He is skeptical. Jesus appears again. He doesn’t reject Thomas’ doubt. Jesus invites Thomas to come forward and touch his wounds. At this moment, Thomas believes, not just that Jesus has been raised, but he believes who Jesus is. He says, “My Lord and my God!” No one else in all of the gospel stories addresses Jesus or speaks about Jesus with such a huge claim about who he is.John 20.19-31

The reality is that we are all broken. But this brokenness that you feel, that you may feel at different points in your life, it is met by Jesus’ brokenness and you are given the gift of faith.

Thomas is broken by his doubt but he is not cursed with the brokenness of doubt. In fact, the opposite of faith is not doubt. Personally, I think the opposite of faith is certainty — the cause of many an evil. But Thomas’ doubt is blessed by Jesus as Thomas reaches to touch Jesus’ brokenness.

A broken Jesus embraces your brokenness

This brokenness that you feel, that you may feel at different points in your life, it is met by Jesus’ brokenness.

A smart fellow named Augustine said that the wounds of Christ heal the wounds of unbelief.

Thomas’ faith, and maybe our faith too, doesn’t come from displays of God’s grandeur and might and power. Christ isn’t a movie-style superhero. He’s broken. And that connects with what is broken in us, because when we’re wounded, we don’t have the confidence or the energy or the optimism that we need to reach out to glory and success, but what hurts in us can touch what hurts in God. And what hurts in God heals with the new life the risen Jesus offers to us.

In baptism we are signed with the cross, and we say, “you are marked with the sign of the cross forever.”

In communion, too, we proclaim the death of Christ, which is life to the world.
Our brokenness is bound up with Christ’s brokenness so that we can also receive his risen life.

In participating in the Christian community we call the church, you join together with others, in being broken together and finding comfort, challenge, wholeness in Jesus with our community of faith.

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