Hector the Collector
Hector the Collector collected bits of string
Collected dolls with broken heads and rusty bells that would not ring.
Pieces out of picture puzzles, bent-up nails and ice-cream sticks,
Old chipped vases, half shoelaces, Gatlin' guns that wouldn't shoot,
Leaky boats that wouldn't float and stopped up horns that wouldn't toot.
Butter knives that had no handles, copper keys that fit no locks,
Rings that were too small for fingers, dried-up leaves and patched-up socks.
Worn out belts that had no buckles, 'lectric trains that had no tracks,
Airplane models, broken bottles, three-legged chairs and cups with cracks.
Hector the Collector loved these things with all his soul --
Loved them more than shining diamonds, loved them more than glistenin' gold.
Hector called to all the people, "Come and share my treasure trunk!"
And all the silly sightless people came and looked ...
and called it junk.
(Shell Silverstein. Where the Sidewalk Ends)
Jesus tended to collect broken people, people who were marred and scarred by failings of all kinds. Peter the impetuous, Simon the insurgent, Matthew the tax collector, a woman of the streets, and many others. Later when Paul looked at the composition of the church in Corinth he said to them:
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you." Sounds a little like Hector the Collector. God gathered a bunch of broken people, sinners, and called them saints, for as Paul went on to say: "But you were washed, ... sanctified ... justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God." As much as Hector loved his collection, God loves us more -- and the "silly sightless" world doesn't understand.
But here we are, washed by the blood of Christ and in the waters of baptism, gathered at this table as his broken people made whole by the power of Jesus Christ. If I may quote Paul again, "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15).