broken egg

Lenten Meditation: When Everything Is Cracked and Broken

by Anne Breck Peterson

Tenebrae is the ancient service of shadows, poised between Good Friday’s crucifixion and the first service of Easter on Easter Eve. In this service we hang suspended in an in-between-time—between paralyzing disaster and we know not what. Although we know that the story ends well, it is important to linger in this bleak place to honor our own journey of failures, losses and periods of despair.

There was a time in my early life when I felt especially successful and complete and in control of my world. As I look back on that time, I visualize myself as an egg. I had everything figured out and lived a self-contained life surrounded by a protective shell. When the first traumatic experience cracked that shell, I felt out of control and unprotected. In retrospect, I imagine that the Spirit of God had been swirling around my perfect, self-contained life, looking for a way in. And then life cracked my shell, and the Spirit slipped in and found the center of my being.

Everything tonight is cracked and broken. Jesus’ body is broken. The resolve of his followers is broken. The veil of the temple is broken in two. As we lean into the story of our faith, allowing it to support our lives, we let in God in a new way. And because Easter is the finale, we are able to live in this murky place of mystery, paradox and grace tonight—and whenever necessary—through the rest of our lives.

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Catherine Cory

Thank you so much for these thoughtful Lenten meditations. I have read them all and appreciate them very much.


Love your meditation Anne… “mystery, paradox, and grace tonight – and whenever necessary- for the rest of our lives” rings true. So grateful to have met you, and George who had a unique gift of breaking open the shell of the ego, a gift I experienced this time of year in 1983 at the ‘tender’ age of 39.

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