Wednesday, June 8, 2011


My wife occasionally enjoys working on a puzzle to relax. Occasionally, I will stop for a minute as I am passing by "to help." I am not sure if my participation is welcomed, as there seems to be a little tension during those times. Perhaps, it is something like passing an artist's easel and adding a couple of dabs of paint.

Last night, I had a weird dream that I had called upon fifty or so brothers and sisters to meet me at a nearby warehouse. I apparently told them to bring all of the stuff they no longer used. It was amazing how many books, small appliances, clothes, etc. there was; they filled the entire warehouse. People were milling around talking and seemed to be waiting for someone to tell them what to do next. One lady was crying because I was not counseling one of her friends. Another insisted that I approve of his unscriptural life-style. Still another was angry because I had failed to organize the group. So, I called for everyone to gather around, and explained that I was not a leader. I was not a counselor. I was a teacher. My purpose for the gathering was for the leader to take charge, for the counselor to address those needing counseling, etc. But because no one stepped forward to lead, people began leaving. Because no one approached those who were hurting, they drifted off. Eventually, I was alone.

The Body of Christ is very much like a puzzle. No individual piece has much value in and of itself, but when it is rightly connected to all of the other pieces, a masterpiece is revealed. I have noticed that "professional puzzle-putter-togetherers" begin by putting together the outside pieces, and then fill in middle. The problem with that is, they limit the size the puzzle. What if the puzzle is meant to grow? What if the puzzle is supposed to be connected to another puzzle? It is as though the worker sees his puzzle as the only legitimate work of art. You know, like those in Corinth who believed their teacher was superior to the ones around whom others gathered (1 Cor. 1:9-17; 3:1-11).

The Apostle Paul spent a great deal of time trying to teach us that every one of us has a part to play, and that unless we are faithful in playing it, the rest of the "puzzle" is incomplete. God gave the Church leaders to lead (Eph. 4:11-16). He provided every part of the Body for the purpose of meeting the needs of the rest of the Body (1 Cor. 12:1-31). If one part is missing, the whole Body suffers. Today, the biggest problem with the Body of Christ may be that all of the "kidneys" gather together in one place, all of the "feet" refuse to acknowledge the "hands" as important, and as a result, the Body of Christ appears more like a corpse that has been disarticulated by the "murderer" (Satan).

Until every member of the Body of Christ serves every other member, the world will look at the incomplete puzzle and be unable to recognize the Masterpiece. By doing our small part, we will be in harmony with the Lord's prayer for unity (Jn. 17:11, 21-23). So find your place in the Body and happily serve in the place of your calling until He returns for us. In so doing, you will serve your brethren, and together, we will show forth the Masterpiece to a lost world.

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