Finding Your Place in God’s Puzzle
October 21, 2007 (Surprise Sunday)
My mother loved puzzles of all kinds. She would do crosswords, logic puzzles, word searches, cryptograms and any other kind of puzzle she could find. But my mom really loved jigsaw puzzles. My mom and my sister used to love doing puzzles together. They would spend hours on jigsaw puzzles with ridiculously small pieces. They even went so far as to set up a table that was used for nothing but their puzzles.
If you like doing jigsaw puzzles, I’ll pray for you. There was nothing I hated worse than getting roped into helping with the latest puzzle that was being done. I think that puzzles are nothing more than a frustrating waste of my time. Needless to say I am not a puzzle person.
I remember one time that my mom got a jigsaw puzzle that had a million pieces or at least it seemed like it. My mom said that the worst thing about the bigger puzzles was losing one of the pieces. One day when I got roped into helping, mom was nearly finished with one of her huge puzzles. I decided to take one of the pieces and hide it.
I can still remember mom’s reaction when she finished the puzzle and the last piece was gone. As you might expect, my mother was not happy. She searched all around the table, in the chairs, under the chairs and all over the floor. I let this go on for about an hour before I went and got the piece from where I hid it. I stuck the piece in my pocket and when mom was in the other room, I put it where it belonged. Yes it was kind of a mean thing to do and no I don’t feel bad about it.
Life can seem like a puzzle at times. Puzzles can be confusing. Puzzles can be frustrating. Puzzles can be rewarding.
What does this have to do with church? The church is much like a puzzle that Jesus puts together for the benefit of the world. Paul describes the church in a similar way in Romans 12.
3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 4 Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:3-8
Every piece of the puzzle matters (v. 3)
For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.