The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into the Abundant Life, Chapter 3 - by Ann Voskamp



The Broken Way: A Daring Path Into the Abundant Life, Chapter 3 - by Ann Voskamp

The creation of the world seems to have been especially for this end,

that the eternal Son of God might obtain a spouse

towards whom he might fully excercise the infinite benevolence of his nature, 

and to whom he might, as it were, open and pour forth

all that immense fountain of condescension, love, and grace that was in this heart.

(Jonathan Edwards)

 

Do this in remembrance of Me. Continuously make the ever-present Christ present. continuously be part of the re-membering of brokenness...

 

We ingest the broken. We become the broken. The wheat is crushed... Every grape was crushed... We are the body sustained by His brokenness, His givenness sustained by this Last Supper that for centuries was called simply "the thanksgiving" - the eucharistias...

 

This is how you live with your one broken heart: you give it away...

 

This bread and blood are symbols of His death - and they are the essence of our new life...

 

All our brokenness meets in the mystery of Christ's brokenness and givenness - and becomes the miracle of abundance...

 

Death and resurrection... unless we die, unless we surrender, unless we sacrifice, we remain alone. Lonely. But if we die, if we surrender, if we sacrifice, that is when we experience the abundance, that is when we dance in communion. The life that yields the most - yields the most...

 

A Jewish rabbi started teaching the marriage customs of first-century Jews... When a man had decided whom he'd chosen to marry, his father would pour a cup of wine and pass it down to his son. The son would then turn to the young woman he loved, and with all the solemnity of an oath before Almighty YHWH Himself, the young man would hold out the cup of wine to the woman and ask for her hand in marriage. He would ask with these words: "This cup is a new covenant in my blood, which I offer to you." ... This Orthodox Jewish rabbi was describing first-century marriage customs, a marriage proposal - with the words Jesus had used that night: " This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which I offer to you." ... The Last Supper was a marriage covenant...

 

Jesus says to you with this cup, 'I love you. I want you. I covenant Myself to you. I commit to you. This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which I offer to you? Do you love Me? Will you covenant yourself to Me?' ... Will you make a committment to Me like I have made to you? ...

 

Martin Luther wrote... "Here this rich and divine bridegroom Christ marries this poor, wicked harlot, redeems her from all her evil, and adorns her with all His goodness. Her sins cannot now destroy her, since they are laid upon Christ and swallowed up by Him." Who has ever loved you to death like this? 

 

Luther's words... "Christ, the rich, noble and holy bridegroom, takes in marriage this poor, contemptible, and sinful little prostitute, takes away all her evil, and bestows all His goodness upon her! It is no longer possible for sin to overwhelm her, for she is now found in Christ." ... "Who can then fully appreciate what this royal marriage means?" Luther begs the believer to take hold of the incomprehensible: "Who can understand the riches of the glory of this grace? ... And she has that righteousness in Christ, her husband - of which she may boast as of her own and which she can confidently display alongside her sins in the face of death and hell and say, 'If I have sinned, yet my Christ, in whom I believe, has not sinned, and all His is mine and all mine is His.'"

 

How can it be? When we're naked and ashamed and alone in our brokenness, Christ envelps us with His intimate grace. When we're rejected and a aoned and feel beyond wanting, Jesus cups our face: "Come close, my Beloved." When we're dirty and tearstained and despairing, Jesus Christ is attracted to us and proposes undying love: "All that you're carrying I take... and all that I am is yours." ...

 

"Ultimately it comes down to this, that the real cause of our trouble is failure to realize our union with Christ," Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote...

 

The pieces of me, the shards I didn't know how to gather together again, the ache that kept me up at night that I didn't even have words for - none of the pieces of me would find peace - until I could see and feel and experientially enter into the relaity of my union with Christ. Peace isn't a place - it's a Person. Peace isn't a place to arrive at, but a Person to abide in. "I myself am your peace," says Jesus. 

 

Is this how you live with your one broken heart? Your one broken heart is only healed by a oneness with Him...

 

Giving thanks - then breaking and giving... The eucharisteo, then koinonia...

 

We aren't merely called to get to know Christ; we are called to participate in complete union with Christ. He breaks and gives His life to the broken. And in communion - koinonia - the broken get to live given to Him... 

 

Whenever I forget, fear walks in. We're called to be a people known by our remembering - a remembering people. Forget to give thanks - and you forget who God is...

 

Brokenness can be healed in re-membering. Remembering our union, our communion, our koinonia, with Christ...

 

That is why we're called to be the re-membering people - remembering the heart of God for us, remembering the cross and the communion and the crucifixion, remembering the koinonia, remembering to be broken and given into the world - so Jesus can re-member all our broken hearts...

 

This is one wild dare to live cruciform, to let life become shaped like a cross. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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