There are at least two ways of having our heart broken. First, our heart could be broken into pieces. Like candy falling from a pinata, pieces of our heart scattered across the floor. We can certainly break this way, broken with little chance of the pieces being found, much less mended. The second way our heart can break is “in two.” Imagine a watermelon being cut open or a cantaloupe. The hard shell is broken to reveal what we really are. When we are broken “in two” something good pours forth from our brokenness.
There is little doubt we will be broken in this world but how we will break open is left undefined. “Having said a blessing, he broke the bread and gave it to them.” This is the power of being broken “in two.”
What we remember today is how one person was broken open and the transformation made possible by the breaking. It is not often that breaking anything has a positive outcome. “My car is broke.” “I think I broke my arm.” “That’s not working, I think it is broken.” The word implies—not functioning. Only God could take such a word as broken, and turn it on its head.
Jesus breaks bread, this is the body broken. But Jesus has been broken open since he was born. He was broken when the disciples could not love Samaritans but instead wanted to call down fire. Jesus was broken when James and John argued over who was the greatest. Jesus was broken when his disciples could not fulfill his mission and heal the sick. Jesus was broken when Peter denied him three times. And of course, Jesus was broken open on a cross.
What we are reminded of today is what happens when someone is broken open, not broken into pieces. This world breaks us all, it breaks us with unnecessary deaths, destructive marriages, debt, fear, and unfulfilling jobs. The question then becomes will it break us into pieces or will it break us open. In a moment we will hold in our hands what represents the broken body of our Lord. As you are served the body of Jesus may you be reminded that a life broken open gives life? From the broken flesh of Jesus poured forth a healing spirit that gave life to us all. Not a life that is fleeting, but a life that is deep and wide, eternal and abundant. From his brokenness comes our life. Hallelujah.
What flows from our brokenness?