He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness. Malachi 3:3


Kintsukuroi, is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold or silver lacquer, making the piece beautiful once again. According to Wikipedia, the practice of kintsukuroi has been around for centuries. When an ancient ruler sent a broken bowl to China for repair, it was returned, glued together with ugly metal staples. Japanese craftsmen soon created a “more aesthetic means of repair.” Kintsukuroi became so popular, some deliberately smashed their valuable pottery and had it repaired using gold lacquer. The “philosophy” of kintsukuroi  “treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.” The pieces are more beautiful for having been broken.


How like these broken vessels we are! Born into a imperfect world, we spend out entire lives vacillating between good and evil. As children, we soak up what our parents, teachers and other caregivers model and teach us, whether it is helpful or hurtful. So many things go into shaping our personalities, from our physical abilities and attributes to our family’s economic standing to the opportunities afforded us in life. As we grow into adulthood, we throw advanced educational opportunities and job history (or the absence of) into that emotional blender, along with new relationships, marriage, children, physical and mental health or illness, and by now there are cracks everywhere! The worldly voices crying out to us offering “just what we need” may not all be legitimate or appropriate, but sometimes they shout so loud it’s hard to hear anything else. Think street drugs, promiscuous sex, get-rich-quick-schemes.


No wonder we need Jesus! He’s more than the glue that holds us all together; He’s the gold in the cracks of our lives! Belief in Christ makes the difference between using plain old school paste to patch up our problems and having the Master Craftsman bring His golden love and healing to make us all the more beautiful—and useful—for the brokenness we experience. “When He has tested me, I will come forth as gold,” said Job in the middle of his trials (Job 23:10). Let’s choose Jesus as our Sacred Artist Who repairs with gold.


Jesus, Refiner of our souls, come to us and heal our brokenness. Amen

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