This was written as the opening article for the March 22, 2019 edition of the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church eNews.
You are watching: Stitch broken but still good
“This is my family. I found it, all on my own. Is little and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.”
This is one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite Disney movies, “Lilo and Stitch.” Stitch, an alien who was created as Experiment 626 to create chaos and destroy things, ends up on earth and is adopted as a pet by Lilo and her sister and legal guardian Nani. Throughout the movie Stitch struggles with the idea that he has been created to be bad yet finds himself drawn to being good because of the love that is shared through his adopted earthly family. He struggles with feeling lost, and without a family to call his own. In the end, after his creators come to earth to try and take him back to his home planet, he realizes that he has found his true family on earth and he says the line above. This is one of those movie moments that always makes me cry. Even if you don’t like Disney movies I highly recommend Lilo and Stitch. There is a lot there for adults and children alike.
One of the metaphors for the church is the “family of God.” In baptism we are adopted into this family, this Body of Christ. At baptism we promise to care for others and the world God made and to work for justice and peace. You might say these are our “family values” (to use a very loaded phrase). Yet we often fail to live up to these promises. In big and small ways we, each of us and together) often dismiss others instead of caring for them, we damage the world God made instead of repairing it, and we look away when the most vulnerable among us cry out for justice.
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Many weekends, when we gather for worship as the people, the family of God, we begin our worship with corporate Confession and Forgiveness. (Did you know Lutherans have individual confession? Learn more here.) This Lent, rather than beginning worship with Confession and Forgiveness, we are engaging in this rite following the prayers of intercession, which is the pattern of the Book of Common Prayer, the worship book for our full communion partners in the Episcopal Church. As Episcopalian liturgical scholar James Farwell says, when we engage in corporate confession at this place in the liturgy, we do so “as a people grateful for God, attentive to God’s Word, and willing to join our lives to the priesthood of Jesus Christ in care for the world,” and the confession is “a moment in which we express awareness of our failure to be any of these things very well, and sorrow for failing to do so.” Following the confession and proclamation of our forgiveness in Christ, we share Christ’s peace with each other, freed to be more fully united as the family of God around the table of the Eucharist.