binding up the brokenhearted

Marc Chagall French, born Vitebsk, Russia (present-day Belarus), 1887–1985 White Crucifixion, 1938 Oil on canvas 60 3/4 x 55 in. (154.3 x 139.7 cm) Signed and dated, l.r.: "MArc ChAgAll/ 1938" Gift of Alfred S. Alschuler, 1946.925 © 2008 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

For Sunday, February 5th, 2012
Fifth Sunday of Epiphany
Psalm 147 

Does today find you brokenhearted?  Maybe you’ve lost your job, your spouse, or your way.  Don’t despair. There is a God reaching out to us who wants to bind up our wounds and set us back upon the healing path:

He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds. . . 
He takes no pleasure in the strength of a horse or in human might.
No, the Lord’s delight is in those who fear him,
those who put their hope in his unfailing love.
(Psalm 147:3, 10-11, NLT) 

Marc Chagall speaks to broken hearts in his 1938 work entitled ‘White Crucifixion’.  Chagall was a Russian Jew watching his world crumble around him.  Communism was sweeping into his world from the left while Nazism wreaked it’s own havoc from the right.  The distressed figures in the foreground just want to escape.  Yet amidst all of this stands the constancy of the cross of Christ, in which the suffering of all peoples, whether Jew or Gentile, comes together where redemption breaks into the chaos (1).

Let the good news of the gospel bind up our broken hearts, for God is here, and his love is indeed unfailing.

Credits:
1) Chagall, Ingo F. Walter and Rainer Metzger, 2006, Taschen, pp. 61-62.

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