Smashing Tiles (Ash Wed, part two)

Smashing tilesLast night, we gathered for worship at our art space store front. The first thing we invited folks to do was to pick a ceramic tile out of a box. The tiles were already odds and ends--salvaged from other people's fancy projects--purchased for 10 cents a pop at Artscraps. On the tiles--we wrote all the things we would love to be released from--the things we want to give away--to be done with--to be healed of--ultimately, to smash. We saw words like: grief, broken hearts, robbers, sadness, anger, despair, fear. "I miss grandpa." Then, we donned safety glasses and took a hammer and smashed them on the sidewalk.  Some folks left their tiles in sizable chunks. Others pulverized them into dust. All the dust, bits and chunks were collected into a box. This hands on confession seems so fitting. Left-over scraps--broken bits--cracked lives--pounded into dust and shards. Go on, make the leap with me to the communion table. Where we gather all these amazing cracked lives around bits of bread. We are using all those bits of tile during our prayers in worship during lent. By Easter Vigil, we will have a new altar table to hold our wine and bread--made of all our our broken tiles.

A friend just shared this communion prayer/invitation from Jonny Baker's church in London. (As it turns out, we are not the first to think of this idea. Not shocking. There is nothing new under the sun--only new eyes to see it).


Friends, This is the joyful feast of the people of God.

They shall come from East and West, North and South,

and sit at the table in the kingdom of God.


This is the table of Christ

today it is literally made of our brokenness

a sign that Christ welcomes us all as we are

so gather at this table

not because you are whole

but because God calls you in your brokenness

not because you are good enough

but because God chooses to feed the world through broken people.