Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Open My Eyes That I May See"1 (Lyrics)
Romans 12:4-5 – Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (NIV)
Recently, a friend loaned me a jigsaw puzzle. In the past, I'd considered working jigsaw puzzles to be a waste of valuable time. Finally, during a seemingly aimless part of a day, I decided to tackle it and dumped the pieces on a table. This particular 500-piece puzzle had a striking picture with bright, shiny colours and intricate patterns. Then began the process of handling the pieces, turning each one over to the picture side, and then, sorting and arranging them by colours and straight edges. From the chaos of a pile of 500 cardboard pieces, there began a gradual formation of something with definition and beauty. I could identify the dominant and main parts of the picture, and it became easier to find those pieces. With each discovery of another piece that fit, I found pleasure and satisfaction. But as the various easy parts were placed in the approximate area where they probably should be, the harder job began. Left on the table were around 250 non-descript pieces that all seemed to look alike. I would need a closer look! They were not alike, but unique. Each had a specific shape and could fit into only one place in the whole puzzle. I also discovered that even an odd, dull, overlooked piece was in fact necessary to connect to the rest.
All of these observations reminded me that the puzzle was like the church. God's church is made up of individual believers. Some may stand out and be in the spotlight for a period. Others may be mostly in the background supporting the whole. When disconnected from other believers, we become useless. But when we are truly united in love as the body of Christ, the world will know that we are Christians by our love. So, my time of working the puzzle was not a waste, but full of useful contemplation about my place, and yours, in the body of Christ.
Here are some Scriptures that ran through my mind during the joining together of the puzzle pieces.
Ephesians 2:21-22 – In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit. (NIV)
Ephesians 4:16 – Christ has put each part of the church in its right place. Each part helps other parts. This is what is needed to keep the whole body together. In this way, the whole body grows strong in love. (NLV)
Friends, these current times have separated us. Each of us is an important and precious part of the body of Christ. Let us ask God to bring us together. Let us return to unity and corporate worship and service.
Prayer: Bind us together, Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken. Bind us together with love. Amen.