We invite you to take a peek inside our weekly Light for the Way devotional series provided for staff.
By Pastor Tom Volker, Founders Ridge
A cheapskate was looking for a gift to give a friend. Everything was too expensive except for a broken glass vase. But then the cheapskate had an idea. He purchased it, for almost nothing, and asked the store to wrap the gift and send it to his friend. The cheapskate imagined that his friend, upon receiving the broken vase would assume that it had been broken by the delivery service. A week later, he received a note from his friend. “Thanks for the vase,” it read. “It was so thoughtful of you to wrap each piece separately.”
We are all broken, though we try to hide it. We may conceal our fears by telling people that we are “fine” when they ask us how we are doing? We may mask our sorrow behind a polite smile. We package our brokenness from hurt and disappointment in a life that tells everyone around us, “I’ve got it all together.” We may try and disguise our brokenness with a busy life or by withdrawing from others or through purchasing things that we think will make us happy. Yet God sees all the individual pieces that are wrapped up inside of us.
“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
“Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?’ declares the Lord. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand…’” - Jeremiah 18:1-6
Brokenness isn’t an issue for God. God is well aware of our failures and frailties. It was for those failures that Jesus was sent to be broken in our place on the cross. He rose again with the promise to us that we too can be remade, restored and repurposed for God. God not only has the power to call us out of our brokenness and mend us, but He also has the power to use those things that make us weak for His purpose.
There is a type of Japanese art called Kintsugi. The artist purposefully breaks a piece of pottery only to mend it. Instead of using glue or filling in the cracks so that they are unnoticeable, the artist fills the cracks with gold, silver or platinum. The purpose of the art is to show that breakage and repair are both a part of the history of the object. This reminds us that even though it is marred, the object still is useful. Jesus has repaired us through His death and resurrection. Though cracks may still be visible, it is through those cracks that God’s grace shines in our lives.
Pastor Tom Volker has served at Founders Ridge as campus pastor since March of 2022. It has been only a month, but he absolutely loves the team and residents that he gets to be around by the grace of God. Tom served for 23 years as a parish pastor in different capacities at five different congregations in three different states. He and his amazing wife Verna have four children - three boys and a girl - and reside in South Minneapolis. When not at Founders Ridge, Tom is transporting children, reading, enjoying a movie at the theater, cooking or just trying to be grateful for the adventure that this God has placed him on. (Did that sound too preachy? Sorry, old habit.)
The Light for the Way series provides staff with an examination of a biblical reading to deepen our focus on scripture. Thank you for engaging with this series as we seek wisdom through prayer and reflection as a Christian Ministry.
Find more in the Light for the Way series:
A living hope
Get to know us: a Christian ministry
Introducing Light for the Way, a new devotional series
In addition to Light for the Way,
you can find reflections, devotions, music and other resources on the Pastoral Care resources website.