I rarely use anything in my china cabinet.
The white and pale blue Noritake fine china, bought thirty-five years ago at a pawn shop in Texas, gathers dust while the Corelle in the kitchen travels regularly from cupboard to table to dishwasher and back to cupboard.
A few weeks ago I was forced to empty the china cabinet so that it could be moved while old carpet was ripped out and new carpet was installed. I covered the kitchen table and counters with the Noritake and other treasures, including a 1982 Penn State Coke bottle, goblets from a decade of Watsontown Christian Academy spring formals, and a Pfaltzgraff Star Trek mug given to me by Mick, a fellow Trekker who has passed beyond the final frontier.
And my grandmother’s cup.
Several years ago, my son and his friend were roughhousing and fell against the china cabinet. They broke a delicate teacup from Eastern Europe, my only link to the grandmother I never met, my mother’s mother, who died the day my oldest brother was born.
I cried—for the cup, for my mother and grandmother, and for myself—but I didn’t stop loving my son. I glued the handle onto the cup, but its value was diminished.
When the first humans disobeyed God, they broke his world. God grieved, but he didn’t stop loving our parents. The value of the broken world was diminished, as Paul explains in his letter to the believers in Rome, “Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” (Romans 8:20 – 21, NLT)
Jesus gave his life to fix broken people in a broken world. As the prophet Isaiah wrote, “He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well.” (Isaiah 53:5, CEV)
In Gethsemane before his death, Jesus prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42, NIV) Because Jesus was willing to drink the cup of crucifixion, my brokenness can be fixed.
In this lifetime, the fixing seems at times like superglue holding the handle onto the cup, but I look forward to a time when I’ll join God’s children and God’s creation in freedom from death, decay, and brokenness.
Just reading about it in Revelation 21 and 22, as we did yesterday in Sunday School, makes the glue feel stronger.