Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Verse for a Year

“Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost.” John 6:12

Yesterday was overcast and dreary early but as New Year's Day continued the sun struggled to come out. Mark and I decided to take a walk along the beach at Rye Playland. It was a nice afternoon, slightly above freezing with little wind. We walked for a while and then decided to go in and look at the ice rink. The young woman behind the booth was kind and let us in to watch the skaters and look at the rink. A thousand years of memories came back as I enter the rink where I took skating lessons and where I whiled away hour after hour on the ice. As a young girl, I dreamed of being good enough to skate in competition, but it was never to be. None of that really matters now, what matters are the old images of myself connected to the present day. The possibility colliding with present reality and a good dash of the child's joy, excitement and enthusiasm lingering behind. We all have remnants from our lives of an earlier era. I am reminded that in God's economy nothing is lost. There is an intention to gather up the fragments, the broken pieces and people to seek restoration and completion.

This story from John's Gospel of the feeding of the five thousand has lately not focused on the miracle for me. I am strapped with the conviction that gathering up the fragments is the most remarkable part of this Gospel and the verse that has renewable power in my life at present. For Jesus did not only feed those gathered but instructed all of us to gather us the discarded and the lonely, the set aside and shunned, the lonely and the maligned, and draw them in for God's love to reach.
Today I realize this gathering in has meaning for my life as well. Nothing good is ever tossed away. God will use it, and us for the restoration of ourselves and others.

Today, in this early day of the New Year, I want to linger on this verse and take it to heart. For a whole year, open my heart to what it means to gather up the fragments. May we all know ourselves invited by God to gather up the fragments - and may we know ourselves to be the gathered up. Since nothing and no one is lost to God.

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