Broken up. Broken hearted. Broken: out of order. Broken arm. Just plain broke.
Brokenness does not have a good reputation in our culture. Some of us come from religious traditions that preached the fallen, broken nature of humanity. We were constantly told we were in need of redemption and forgiveness, facilitated perhaps by a grace we could never earn. Eek! This is tough stuff to absorb, especially at five or six years old.
We Unitarian Universalists are different, well sort of…Unitarian Universalism doesn’t espouse a theology of salvation that includes the concupiscence, or inclination to sin. We don’t hold that we are inherently sinful beings in need of a regular dose of forgiveness. We hold up the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We hold up the beauty of this earth and her people. And yes, we hold up the imperfections, the brokenness and the not-quite-done. Yes, we too are just plain broke sometimes.
It is our brokenness, we Unitarian Universalists believe, which saves us.
Unitarians believed there was a great oneness of divinity, which connected us beyond any brokenness. The Universalists held we shared a common loving destiny. We are yes, broken at times and certainly imperfect, but it is not the imperfections that keep us from being saved, but rather the imperfection and brokenness that saves us. We can consider our future story, offer compassion in the midst of our own pain, and extend mercy because of our imperfections.
Thus, it is we enter a month that will be filled with images of how our world is still broken, yet beautiful.
Wars continue as spring blooms. New babies will be dedicated to our congregation and we to their spiritual journeys as we see a world still struggling to live in harmony. Members will be welcomed to our congregation, in the midst of a state that would amend its constitution to put some citizens outside of its borders.
Yes, we live in a world of beauty and brokenness, but the goal is not to be perfected by some light or deity. Rather, we Unitarian Universalists know what it is to be broken and beautiful; to discover our salvation through what could, but will never, separate us.
Yes the circle is open, but unbroken.