News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland
This has been a week of potential breaking and reparations. The guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial shone a light on statistical problems about the exorbitant rate of violence, injury and death that occurs be-tween black men (like George Floyd) when they encounter police officers in our country. Something is bro-ken in our society. One trial can’t fix it. This too is part of our legacy today.
Kintsugi (金継ぎ, “golden joinery”) is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold. As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.
The prophet Jeremiah was sent by God to interact with a potter who repaired and replaced broken pottery. It was a prophetic action speaking to Israel of what God intended for them as a community in the exile to Babylon. They were broken in a way that only God could repair, restore and make whole.
In 1 Samuel 21 we hear the story of David – on the run because he’s being hunted down by the jealous King Saul. Hungry David (and his colleagues) seek refuge in the house of the LORD. The only food there is the consecrated showbread bread: twelve loaves of bread, symbolizing God’s continual fellowship with Israel. It was always to be fresh. It was not to be treated casually. In fact, it was to be eaten by the priests: And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place (Leviticus 24:9). The priest Ahimelech gives it to David to respond to his hunger, to care for his well-being. This too was worship of God – and holy work.
We read of Jesus being condemned by the religious authorities for healing on the Sabbath – the day of rest when one was to contemplate the majesty of God, study the Torah word and celebrate what God has done for us. Jesus challenges this codified notion of the sacred, referring to the story of David and the showbread, challenging the religious notion that the only healing work that could be done on the sabbath was to save someone from death. Jesus challenges this, healing the non-life-threatening wound of the crippled man, reminding the people present of what the work of God is – to honor life, to love one’s neighbor and to choose life.
In our broken nation we are faced with the challenge of how to respond. What do we do with our building? How are we sanctuary for those who are hungry, sick, rejected, and on the run?
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION & EXAMEN: