The front page of the Fort Worth Star Telegram noted the story of a young girl who just completed the largest jigsaw puzzle in the world--24,000 pieces! It took her more than 4 months and, I'm guessing, a lot of patience. The creator of the 14 foot by 5 foot puzzle titled it "Life"--a panorama of our planet fitting together.
The news article reminded me that the church of Jesus Christ is the largest, interlocking wonder of the world. The church isn't simply a local congregation, but the universal collection of all Believers everywhere. No two "pieces" are the same; Each member is unique [1 Corinthians 12:12]. Each piece has something to contribute to others around it and, likewise, each piece has a "gap" to receive the blessing of others. Each piece is indispensable, necessary for the whole composition [1 Corinthians 12:21-26]. And, when all the pieces come together, each in its proper place, a picture of the "life" of Christ is revealed to the world around us.
My in-laws typically have a jigsaw puzzle in process at their home during the Christmas season. A card table is set up in the living room, two chairs, and a floor lamp moved closer to the workspace. The table is an open invitation for anyone to contribute to the final piece. Sometimes, we work for 15 minutes. I can remember years where I sat for several hours until the puzzle was finished.
The church is an open invitation to anyone to come, sit for a while, search and connect. As we linger with the pieces, we begin to see where we fit into God's greater picture. And, we discover the incredible blessing called "Life."