And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. – 1 Peter 5:10
My father and sister both enjoy making pottery, so over the years I’ve felt obligated to brush up on the subject whenever I have the chance. Recently I came across a Japanese pottery technique called “Kintsukuroi,” which roughly translates to mean “Golden Repair.” As its name suggests, the procedure has more to do with fixing pottery than creating it. In Kintsukuroi, broken pottery is repaired with a lacquer resin that’s been mixed with gold or silver powder. Once the object has been properly cleaned and dried, its cracks are highlighted by thin veins of metal running throughout its form.
To the Japanese, the breakage and repair become part of the objects history, transforming it from something old into a new creation. One sculpture put it like this,
“The art of repairing pottery with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken.”
I can remember reading this description and being struck by how wonderfully it captures the message of the Gospel. God created us to be holy and sanctified reflections of Himself, but because of sin, we became a group of broken and malformed prodigals. Yet instead of throwing us out, God picks up the pieces and restores us, transforming us into something new and beautiful. The memory of our sins may remain, but now they have been filled with the precious love of Jesus Christ. Every Christian is a work of art adorned with grace, and when people see our lives, they should think only of God.
But that is not the end, the Bible tells us the best is yet to come. One day, Christ will repair our world the same way he repaired our souls. One day, he will make all things new.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’” – Revelation 21:1-4