tree Joy Fellowship
Christmas Newsletter 2003


[ Back ]  [ Next ]


bells You are invited to join us for our Christmas Service:

10:00 a.m., December 21st, at 5800 Oak Street
(our usual Sunday meeting place)


The Broken Cup

By Joyce Braun

Broken cupThis Broken Cup speaks to me of several things (no, not my clumsiness—really I didn’t break this one): first of Jesus’ pain and broken-ness taken on willingly to bring healing and new life to you and me; it also reminds me of the broken-ness and darkness and pain around and within each of us.

I want to use it as a focus when I speak of the folks of Joy Fellowship, a supportive church community and outreach for people with developmental disabilities. These are people who society would see as broken and useless, very small and insignificant.

I was thinking back to the first Joy Fellowship camp I attended. I was late arriving (no big surprise there!) and as I walked into that room full of people I was overwhelmed by all the broken-ness and obvious suffering—so many severely handicapped people. I remember praying, "Lord, I don’t thin I can do this," expecting I was going to be doing all the giving. It never even crossed my mind that these people could possibly have anything to give to me.

Joy Gregory introduced me and asked a couple of the folks to show me to my room—Wow! these people know how to welcome and care for you. By the end of that 3 days, I felt so loved and so hugged that it touched a deep place in me I’d shut down. It doesn’t mean they’re perfect but they have gifts from the heart—a sense of presence, just being themselves with no pretense that invites you to be yourself as well, being received not for being brilliant but just for being you. There’s a generosity in their loving that is nurtured by JF leadership.

Back to the cup—you may not be able to see it but there’s a tea light inside the cup. You may think this cup is useless because of it’s brokenness but it occurred to me—easier to see in the dark when the candle’s burning—that if the cup weren’t broken you wouldn’t be able to see the light nearly as well. In their very broken weakness and vulnerability, Jesus, the light, can be seen in the people of Joy Fellowship more clearly than ever. It also occurred to me that sometimes it’s in our broken areas of pain and weakness, rather than in our strength and giftedness that God’s light shines clearest.


horizontal rule