Volume 33, No. 9
How many eggs do you eat a year? In 2011, it was recorded that each American ate 245 eggs every year. I began counting the eggs that my family consumes and the total might be closer to 400. That’s a lot of egg shells to go in the garbage. It’s really easy to throw away something that’s broken and useless. But Easter isn’t for the pretty egg and the baby chick. Easter is for the broken and the discombobulated.
Dr. James Lamkin, my friend and current pastor of Northside Drive Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA says, “There is something discombobulating about Easter.” He imagines that the Gospel writers knew this word and would’ve said, “They left the empty tomb, hopeful, fearful, and discombobulated.” The first time the word showed up was in the 1830s and meant, “No longer having one’s composure.” I know many ministers and members alike who yearn for the time after Easter when things are less discombobulated.
But I feel as if I’ve lost my composure after Easter, I am still discombobulated. I lost several close friends to cancer, others who are getting sicker and weaker, angry words flash through sky like lightening, and depression is thick like an early morning fog. We are a broken people. Isn’t Easter supposed to remind us that we are resurrection people, people who bring new life to the world? Sure, but bringing new life is difficult if we are discombobulated. Bringing new life is very hard when we are broken people. We want to follow the ashamed disciples and embarrassed Peter and go back to our mundane lives of fishing. We simply want to be left alone and return to our old habits and old ways. But even if we are a broken and discombobulated people, we can use our brokenness to bring resurrection life.
If you didn’t know it, egg shells are good for your garden. They are made of 93% calcium carbonate and give your plants the nutrients to grow. Also, eggshells keep the slugs and the snails from destroying young plants because they cannot traverse the sharp edges of the broken shells. It seems to me that brokenness and “losing our composure” reminds us that the difficult and hurtful things of life can be the very things that grow our spiritual and emotional gardens. Maybe our brokenness this Easter will bring with it more “composure” and more fertile compost to grow the fruit of the Spirit in each of our lives.
And so, we lean into the ongoing brokenness of being resurrection people. But even in that brokenness, the Spirit of the resurrected Christ grows new life in us and in the world. We are reminded that the ongoing life and love of God meets us at life’s sharp edges and deep graves and that Easter is really for the broken.