From broken to whole

Pastor Jean Newell, Associate Pastor, Sun Lakes United Methodist Church

For more years than I can remember, I have collected coffee mugs. Call me practical, but I decided many years ago that if I was going to have a collection, it wouldn’t be stuff that sat on a shelf and had to be dusted. I hate dusting. It would be stuff I could use. Consequently, I started collecting coffee mugs. Many of the cups are ones I’ve bought, but many of them have been given to me as gifts from friends and family. I have cups with sayings about daughters, sisters, mothers and grandmas! I have cups with my name on them, cups with pictures of dogs on them and cups with scripture on them. I have cups for various holidays and cups from the British Isles, Europe and the Middle East, besides those from the USA. The background on my Harry Potter mug “magically” appears when it’s full of hot coffee or tea, while another mug beeps likes Star Wars’ R2D2 when I take off its lid. I even have a cup that says, “Cuz I’m the Mom!” and a self-stirring one that declares, “The force is strong with this one!” The cups come in all shapes and sizes. Some are large, some small. Some are short, some tall. Some are delicate, some chunky. Each one is unique with a story behind it.

Two of them, however, are chipped and one has a broken handle. Although I’ve tried to repair their brokenness with glue, the cups will never hold hot liquids again; they will never be whole.

Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus — in his brokenness — hung on a cross and died and was buried in a tomb. No one – not His mother, Mary, nor Peter, nor John, nor Mary Magdalene, nor any of His followers – could mend and repair what the soldiers’ whips and the Roman cross had done.

Why else was it on that first Easter Sunday morning as the first rays of the sun streamed across the sky that Mary Magdalene ran pell-mell back to the disciples and, gasping for breath, celebrated, “I have seen the Lord!”

Why else, indeed! For God did what only God could do. God brought wholeness where only brokenness had been — something God can do today for you and for me if we but give our hearts to Him. Hallelujah, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!