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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

5 December 2012: Jon Piper, Hope Church

Tiny, Little Fractures

I work with victims of serious crime who have been placed in situations where their lives begin to fall apart. The action of an individual has placed them in a brutal, irreparable situation that damages their family, their health, their work and everything that seems normal.

Often, in these times of crisis, fractures seem to run through every part of a person's life. Everything falls apart.

Of course, this effect is not limited to the lives of my clients. Entropy, the decay of all things, is inevitable. The things I buy, the words I speak, every decision I make can send tiny, little fractures shooting off into the lives of others. Things really do fall apart.

It's easy to see our lives as a protracted attempt at delaying entropy. Sickness, poverty, loneliness, age and death are our tiny, little fractures.

This, I think, is why Jesus' miracles are so hard to believe. Virgins cannot conceive or give birth and people cannot rise from the dead because all things fall apart. Life cannot spring into existence of its own accord, it usually only fractures.

This is why I'm celebrating Advent so passionately this year, because it sets entropy in reverse. A virgin is pregnant; she gives birth to a baby boy and suddenly life's fractures are being repaired. The lonely have company, the sick are made well and a dead, cursed man comes back to life, raises a movement and changes the world.

Suddenly everything is being made new.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Post on 5 December; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

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