Sermons That Work

A Man Was in the Back Yard…, Easter (B) – 2003

April 20, 2003

A man was in the back yard trying to fix a broken window shutter. When he had just about reached his frustration limit, his three-year-old daughter showed up and said, “Whatcha doin,’ Daddy?” The man replied, “I am trying to fix this stupid shutter, but I don’t think I can.” She reassured him, “God can fix it!” she said. He ignored her for the moment and kept struggling.

An hour or so later after the frustrated man had almost completely torn the shutter apart, his daughter returned, and he grumbled, “Well, God will have to fix it, because I can’t.”

It is good to remember the little girl’s comforting, freeing promise at Easter, as we try to overcome the trials of Lent just past. “God can fix it!” Perhaps that is as good a message as any for our Easter focus. “God can fix it!”

Throughout Judeo-Christian history, there are a series of times and events in which God has fixed what we cannot. Ezekiel’s “Valley of the Dry Bones” reminds us that God can restore us from the “lostness” of exile from God’s presence. God can fix it.

The Exodus journey across the Red Sea reminds us that God can deliver us from cruelty and oppression and abuse suffered at the hands of our fellow humans. God can fix it.

The Pentecost experience reminds us that God can move us beyond despair and hopelessness. God can fix it.

Today, the Resurrection reminds us that God can repair what is broken, raise up what is cast down, renew what is old, make perfect what falls below the standards of God’s values.

As this day is unalterably linked with the days that came before, we remember the week that began with fading triumph of Palm Sunday and carried through to the night of the Last Supper, and led into Jesus’ arrest, trial, and Crucifixion. That, too, God can fix. Through the brokenness and death of that week, God raises us as God raised Jesus to a truer and more fruitful life.

God fixed it so that a horrible, cruel and ugly instrument of execution became a symbol of beauty, hope, and salvation. As we remember that thousands across the world are being baptized today, we remember our own Baptisms, and know that God fixes it so that we can be buried with Christ in his death and raised to the new life of faith. Once we were dead in our sinfulness-now God has fixed it so we can be alive, in Christ, to all the power and newness and possibility that is God. God fixes it so that we may know we are loved more than anything-loved so much that we are worth dying for.

God can fix our own mortal bodies. Our awareness and ultimate acceptance of death brings us to new life, as the seed must first die before it can live. God also fixes it so that a spiritually dead Christian can find a new life of renewal and deepened commitment and joy.

Nothing is so low, nothing is so drastic, nothing is so hopeless, no death is so final that it cannot be brought to life through the resurrecting power of God.

Come to think of it, in saying, “God can fix it,” that little girl we talked about had her verb tense wrong. For, in truth, and for all time, GOD HAS FIXED IT.

Alleluia. Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

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Christopher Sikkema