At Christmas I received amongst other things a jigsaw puzzle from my sister. Whilst doing it there were times I was convinced that at least one piece missing. Life can be like that as well. We think that we have been dealt a short hand. It is very easy to imagine injustices, especially if we listen to other peoples’ gossip. When such ultimately groundless suspicions involve other people it is easy to see through them. But when it is ourselves then it is a different matter. Another thing that happens when doing jigsaws is convincing yourself that a piece must go somewhere it does not fit and then repeatedly trying it at the same place time after time. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we belong in role or another even though we know we do not really fit in that role. There are even times when you begin wonder if one or more pieces belong to another puzzle. There are times when people doubt that they are in the right place whether, in the church or the secular workplace. Though if a piece was from another puzzle it is usually pretty obvious as it would probably be made from a different types of cardboard, etc. Likewise, if we are in the wrong place it is usually pretty obvious. When the puzzle is completed then all these doubts are forgotten. Paul uses the analogy of parts of the body on more than one occasion. Though having a travelling companion in Luke the physician might have had something to do with it. When a jigsaw puzzle is completed then you see the whole picture. God has the whole picture of our lives and/or the Church but we rarely do. The problem with life is that we do not have the complete picture. At times we may feel we are working without any picture. We may find a few pieces that go together but are not sure as to where they fit in with the rest of the puzzle. It is easy to concentrate on only a small part of it at a time and try and make sense of what we can. Going back to Paul’s analogy of the body we might be confused as to which part of the body we actually are and we are trying to fit ourselves into the wrong part. God wants the parts of His Church to fit together. The problem through history is that man’s idea of what the Church should look like has had little resemblance to God’s idea revealed in Scripture. We then wonder why the pieces do not seem to be fitting together correctly. It is not helped by the fact that of those churches referred to in the New Testament most were far from perfect themselves in some aspect or other. What in effect we should be aspiring to is the best practice among them and not necessarily any one church.
David Rose, 2016.