Jesus Gathers Up Our Fragments

Beth Demme Blog Leave a Comment

This little graphic has been floating around on social media. You might have seen it on Facebook or Instagram. It caught my eye when a friend posted it on Instagram. Unfortunately, I have no idea where it originated or who wrote it.

In spite of that, I think this is actually a pretty good statement, theologically speaking.

When I was growing up, I spent many Saturday afternoons at the skating rink, skating in circles. At least once during each skating session, the DJ would turn down the main lights and turn on the disco ball. I loved skating under the little fragments of light. Somehow they transformed the whole rink into a place that was a little more special, a little more fun.

The thing is, a disco ball doesn’t produce its own light. A disco ball is a spinning sphere covered in cut, or broken, glass. The disco ball isn’t a source of light, it can only reflect the light that it captures in its fragments of glass.

Fragments seem sort of meaningless until we see what can be done with them.

Each of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) tell us of a time when Jesus fed more than 5000 people with a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish (or is it fishes?). In all four accounts, there are leftovers. In all four accounts, the leftovers are gathered up. In all four accounts, the leftovers fill 12 baskets. But in John’s account, we get Jesus saying: “gather up the fragments left over so that nothing will be lost” (John 6:12).

You might be in a place today where your life, or your faith, feels fragmented.

Maybe it feels like there are a million people who each want a piece of you—work, family, friends, neighbors, etc. Maybe you, or someone you love, is facing challenges and you’re asking questions like “Why me? Why them? Why now?” Or maybe you used to believe more than you do now. You might be in a season where you aren’t sure God hears you. Maybe you want to have faith, but you wonder if God is really real.

Jesus wants to gather up those fragments and turn them into something more than the sum of their parts. Jesus doesn’t want anything to be lost. Nothing about your life, your struggles, is wasted.

Those fragmented parts of your life, or even your fragments of faith? Jesus wants to turn those into, well, a disco ball of sorts.

When Jesus holds those fragments, they can reflect him—the light of the world (John 8:12).

If the disco ball could transform the skating rink into a place that was a little more special and a little more fun, imagine what kind of transformation can happen when your life is a disco ball that reflects the love of God.

When it feels likes life is in a million pieces, it’s good to remember that Jesus says, “Gather up the fragments so that nothing may be lost.”

You aren’t broken. You are a disco ball.

What do you think? Do you have some fragments Jesus can work with? Tell me about it in the comments, in an email, or on Facebook.

More like this from Beth:

Sermon from July 25, 2021 at Gray Memorial United Methodist Church:

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