Where do all the broken things go?
Broken computers, broken TVs, broken furniture – back in the day, a long time ago – all the broken things at Rice would go to the Breaking Party. Midterms or finals would hit, and closets would be emptied of their pathetic, broken contents, as they were dragged, lugged or otherwise ferried to an open amphitheater-like space on campus. Exhausted and anxious, students would emerge from their study caves and the bowels of the library to take up hammers and other implements of destruction. Then the metal soundtrack to our madness was cranked up, and the breaking party would begin. O glorious catharsis! How broken people love breaking things!
I am fairly certain the Breaking Party has been banned from campus, probably for excellent reasons. Broken people plus broken things plus power tools tended to make for a busy night for the campus police and the Rice EMTs. But, who knows? Maybe somewhere in Montrose, deep OC, the metal plays and the Breaking Party continues.
Broken things still need a place to go.
This may sound utterly ridiculous, but I sometimes think about the Breaking Party during the Eucharist. Admittedly, what we do on Sunday mornings is a far cry from the noise and dangerous spectacle described above. Metal bands – even Christian metal (yes, that is a music genre that exists) – rarely find a home in our gatherings. We get nervous enough about handing out candles for processions – other implements of destruction are right out. Nevertheless, the Eucharist is a special sort of Breaking Party. It is the kind of breaking party to which broken people can go. It is the kind of breaking party, which, in the breaking open of Word and bread, can make broken things whole.
This Saturday night, 6-8 pm, you are invited to the Canterbury Breaking Party at Luz and Thanh Montes’ place (email Eileen at firstname.lastname@example.org for the address). Bring your whole self, broken bits and all. Bring some food or a friend if you can. Leave the broken computer in the closet though.
O radiant light, break upon us.
O Word of God, break into the fortified places within us.
O Bread of Life, broken for us, make us whole.