The Rt. Rev. Jeff W. Fisher
Revelation 21: 2-7
St. Luke’s, Fort Worth, Texas
Alleluia. Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Like many of us, my wife, Susan, and I enjoy watching TV shows on streaming services, such as Netflix.
And one of our favorite TV shows is:
On “Restaurant Impossible,” a restaurant that is broken and in trouble - is rescued and made new.
At the beginning of each episode, the celebrity chef, named Robert Irvine, storms into a troubled restaurant.
He points out the dirty refrigerators in the kitchen,
And the broken customer service,
And the terrible finances at the restaurant.
He confronts the dysfunctional dynamics between the owner and the staff.
Then, Robert Irvine and his crew:
They make all things new.
The dining area is painted and transformed.
The menu is new and better tasting.
The personal dynamics are healed.
And then, the owners are blind-folded, and are guided into their transformed restaurant.
When the blind folds come off, the owners get a first look at resurrection, and they exclaim:
Oh. My. Gosh!
Susan and I love to watch these transformation stories on “Restaurant Impossible.”
For everyone loves to see the dead - come alive.
Everyone loves to see broken things - get healed.
Everyone loves to hear:
“See, I am making all things new!”
This evening, in the Bible, in the Book of Revelation, we hear this:
“[Jesus], the one seated on the throne, says:
‘See, I am making all things new.’”
Jesus is in the business of taking broken and dead things - and he makes all things new.
My office is in the Tyler Diocesan Center, which is located on the campus of All Saints Episcopal School in Tyler.
And in my office, I have displayed - this 6-inch figurine of Jesus, with outstretched arms.
And ever since I was ordained, no matter what church office I have been in, I have always displayed - this little figurine of Jesus with outstretched arms.
This tiny of statue of Jesus was given to me as a gift, many years ago.
It was given to me as a gift - by a wise woman named Trinka Bland.
Trinka Bland gave me this little statue of Jesus as a gift - before I went off to seminary.
You see, Trinka had always kept this statue of Jesus sitting on her kitchen counter, so that she could see it while she cooked.
Yet one day, she took a pot off of the stove and swung around.
And the little statue of Jesus crashed onto the floor.
When she picked it up, one of Jesus’ arms had broken off.
So Trinka took her statue of Jesus with one arm.
And she boxed it up, wrapped it, and gave it to me.
When I opened her gift, I was puzzled to receive a gift that seemed broken.
Then Trinka told me the story of why Jesus had only one arm - and she said this to me:
“Now Jeff, when you look at Jesus, you will see that he is missing one arm and one hand.
And every time you look at the statue, I want you to remember that you are called to reach out to others.
You are to be the arm and hand of Jesus.”
Trinka Bland did not try to super glue the hand of Jesus back on - to make him just the way he was before.
Instead, Trinka took her broken statue and gave it to me as a gift.
And now the little Jesus statue with one arm and one hand sits in my office, reminding me of my call to serve others.
That broken little statue - was made new.
Jesus is in the business - of making all things new.
And the way that Jesus makes things new - is through his brokenness and crucifixion.
Jesus is always taking broken and dead things - and he makes them new.
And in the resurrection of Jesus, God does not raise Jesus up and super glue him back together just the way he was before.
We know this because we can still see the nail marks in his hands and feet.
Instead, God takes the broken body of Jesus - and makes him into a new creation.
And you and I:
We have been broken and crucified and buried with Jesus in our baptism.
And we have been raised from the dead.
Yet even though we still have the imperfect marks on us from our crucifixions,
Jesus makes us new.
We are here this evening, to dedicate and consecrate this space.
This space is being made new, day by day, as you worship together as St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.
This space is being made new, day by day, as you are the arms and hands of Jesus, reaching out to others, through the 4Saints Food Pantry.
We are here this evening to dedicate this space, as a place of resurrection.
For Robert Irvine takes broken and impossible restaurants - and he makes them new.
Trinka Bland takes a broken statue - and she makes it new.
Jesus takes broken people and broken relationships - and he makes them new.
For Jesus is the one, sitting on the throne, proclaiming:
“See, I am making all things new.”