"God Mends Broken People"
June 17, 2005Email to a FriendPrint
A broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. Psalm 51:17
Eugene O’Neill, the American dramatist, is hardly known for great statements of faith. But he did write this: “Man is born broken. He lives by mending. And the grace of God is the glue.”
Every human being is born broken in sin, so the Word of God teaches. Here we think not only of criminals – killers, thieves, cheaters – but people wearing blue collars, white collars, or none at all. Included are all people, also those who profess faith in God. King David declares “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5). Again, Saint Paul, the great missionary: “Nothing good lives in me. … The evil I do not want to do – this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:18-19). It is as the playwright said, ‘Man is born broken.”
When a doll is broken, the little girl tries to mend it. Many things in everyday life need mending: valuable plates and dishes, clothes, the screen door, the back fence. The broken human being, too, needs mending. In fact, he needs more than a little repair here and there, a little outward reform, a little cosmetic renovation. He needs a complete overhaul, a conversion, a new birth. God the Holy Spirit takes broken people and through the Gospel converts them into new persons – who repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ as the one who died for them and now forgives them.
To stay mended, it is necessary to stay close to Christ, love Him, pray to Him, serve Him, and do the kinds of good things He wants done in the world and in the church. We stay mended when we by faith adhere to the promises of the Word of God, for this is the Word of divine love and grace. It is as O’Neill said: “The grace of God is the glue.” "It is by grace you have been saved,” writes Saint Paul in Ephesians 2:8. What wonderful grace! No wonder that John Newton wrote in a hymn: “Amazing grace! How sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see!” You can say the same.
PRAYER: Help me, O Holy Spirit to amend my life where and when it falls short of Christ’s expectation. Amen.
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