In the sixteenth century tea culture of Japan, a young attendant to Toyotomi Hideyoshi (a warlord of the time) dropped an invaluable piece of teaware, with it breaking into five pieces. The attendant’s life was in the balance, when Yusai Hosokawa’s (a key tea master) quick actions saved the attendant. Yusai sang a poem of atonement and later reconnected the pieces using the Urushi Japan lacquer technique with gold gilding and presented it to Hideyoshi – in this moment brokenness was turned into beauty and Kintsugi was established.

You and me are the pieces of the broken vessel. Broken yes, but no less beautiful or valuable and dare I say with the potential to be even more so. Jesus; God incarnate, came to be with us not to restore Eden but to rearrange us, the broken pieces, into a new formation and to gild us together with his love to make new creation through His suffering and resurrection. We have been made new and make anew the Kingdom of God as something more beautiful and more valuable than the the original. This is not about simply fixing, it is about beholding each other in the love of Christ and seeing what new shapes we make. After all God created catgut, horse-hair and wood knowing that human ingenuity could draw from them Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Ben Sheridan, Sheppard Scholar