Unless you have been living under a rock, you have come to the realization that this is a broken world that we live in. The news tells us about killings and floods and tornadoes and riots and famines and … It seems that our families are broken, as are our schools and churches and government. It may not sound like it but I am normally an optimist.

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I went looking after hymns about brokenness. I ran onto a blog by Pastor Brandon Cox. He noted that the greatest songs we write are out of brokenness. He noted several scriptural passages that back up his statement. Acts 16: 25 says, “ At midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners listened to them.” This was while Paul and Silas were beaten and jailed. Psalm 142:1 says, “ I cry out to the Lord with my voice, with my voice to the Lord I make my supplication.” This was written by King David while hiding out in a cave, after losing his wife, and family and his place with King Saul.

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Julian of Norwich, ancient mystic, was troubled by horrible pain. She used to say, “ All is well, All is well, all manner of things will be well. “ Horatio G. Spafford wrote the hymn called,” It is well with my soul.” He lost his son to scarlet fever, everything he owned in the Great Chicago Fire, and his four daughters died on board a sinking ship. His wife survived the sinking and as he crossed the ocean to be with her he wrote his famous hymn. Verse 1 says, “ When peace like a river, attendeth my way. When sorrows like seal billows roll. Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul. The refrain says, “ It is well with my soul. It is well, it is well with my soul.” I have come to learn that we are closest to God when we love and when we suffer.

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Mark 7:24-37 talks about Jesus honoring the Syrophoenician Woman’s faith and He heals the deaf and mute man. Again Jesus tries to get the Disciples away for a rest. He goes into Gentile territory. Still people find Him having heard of His miraculous powers. A Gentile woman begged Jesus to heal her daughter of her demon. Jesus told her to let the children eat first and it was not right to take the children’s food and toss it to the dogs. Since the mother loved her daughter she quickly replied that even the dogs get to eat the children’s crumbs. On the surface it seems that Jesus was being cruel. He was basically saying that let the Disciples eat first and then I will help you. Jesus took the demon from the child because of the woman’s faith and persistence. Jesus then left Tyre and went to Sidon. There the people brought a deaf and mute man to Jesus to heal. Jesus took him aside and put His finger in the man’s ear and Jesus spit and touched the man’s tongue. Jesus looked up to heaven and sighed deeply. He sighed because of all of humanities’ brokenness. Jesus cried, “Ephphatha” which means be open. The man was healed immediately. Jesus told the people not to tell anyone, but of course they told everyone. They were amazed and praised Jesus saying, “He has done everything well, He even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak.” AMEN!

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-Father Ed Murphy, Shared Episcopal Ministry

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