A Homily for ‘A Blue Christmas’ Service
St Barnabas Anglican Church, Sunday, December 18, 2016
(Luke 14:15-24; Matthew 11:28-29; Revelation 21:1-7)
The recently released movie ‘The Choice’ tells the romantic story of Travis and Gabby. After a whirlwind romance they find love, marry, and begin a family. Life is ideal.
After all, they enjoy good and satisfying employment, a beautiful home, growing children, perfect health. Apart from the recent loss of his mother, Travis’ life, with Gabby at his side, has unfolded better than he could ever imagine.
That is, until a car accident puts Gabby in a long-term coma. After an agonising 90 days, Travis is asked to sign papers allowing the machinery keeping his wife alive to be turned off.
During this decision time a twister rips through Travis’ property. It leaves their home in tatters. As he begins to tidy up a short conversation takes place between him and his still grieving father. It ends in a piece of priceless advice: ‘There’s no shame in being a broken man, I should know. You just pick up the pieces and start rebuilding.’
‘Easier said than done’, I hear you say. Of course. There is, however, no one else in Travis’ world who could possibly get away with giving such straight – and hard – advice. This broken man needs a broken man.
Our sufferings and losses – so often highlighted at this festive time of year – give us a unique perspective. The voice of experience fosters a wisdom known only by the broken.
And there is no shame in being broken.
If there is anything the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus tells us, it is that at the very core of the universe is one who knows loss, identifies with suffering, and reaches out in gentleness and humility. The incarnation insists on two realities: that God knows broken – and, that one day all will be healed.
Until then, perhaps we do very well to ‘yoke’ ourselves with the gentle and humble one who offers rest and healing – our broken hearts learning to trust the wisdom of our broken God.