By Lilly Lewin
Another crazy week has ended. Wildfires are raging again in California, refugees are dying in trucks while trying to find a better life in a new country, people are living in chronic pain and dealing with cancer, children are still separated from their parents at the border, and our leaders spend more time accusing and condemning, rather than actually leading.
I’m grateful to be in the beautiful Pacific Northwest this week visiting with my sister and niece. One dealing with chronic pain and the other a chronic illness… but both still filled with love, laughter and joy! One of our practices when we hang out together is to do puzzles. We go to a great local bookstore nearby and find a new puzzle that inspires us. Then we go to work! We are dedicated! This week, our new puzzle took us only a day to complete! We all loved the vibrant colors and seeing the different British doors. I love the process of finding all the outside pieces and beginning to see the picture come to life. I love getting down to the last pieces and actually sorting and looking at them by shape, rather than by color or design. AND I l really love the feeling of accomplishment when a puzzle is completed!
As I put this new puzzle back in it’s box, I was reminded of one of my favorite passages in the Bible
Colossians 1:18-20 The Message (MSG)
We look at this Son and see the God who cannot be seen. We look at this Son and see God’s original purpose in everything created. For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible, rank after rank after rank of angels—everything got started in him and finds its purpose in him. He was there before any of it came into existence and holds it all together right up to this moment. And when it comes to the church, he organizes and holds it together, like a head does a body.
He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross..
Read the passage again . Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.
All things hold together in Jesus! This gives me hope and great comfort! As I put the pieces back in the box, I thought of Jesus holding all the broken things of this world. All the craziness of fires, and floods, and cancer. All the broken systems and broken people.
Can you and I let Jesus hold the pieces for us this weekend?
1. Find a puzzle and take time to put it together…. on your own, with your family, with friends. Talk together. Make it fun, not a competition. Enjoy the process of slowing down and not looking at a screen. What do you notice about the process? Consider how Jesus is fitting the pieces of your life together.
2. Not everyone enjoys the process of puzzle making. What other game, craft or project has lots of pieces that you actually do enjoy putting together or doing? Take time to do this and consider the process and the pieces.
3. Find an old puzzle that has lost some pieces or a buy a very inexpensive puzzle so you can use it just for the puzzle pieces themselves. Read and Listen to this passage as a family, small group, youth group etc. Give everyone in your group a puzzle piece to hold on to and carry with them. Listen to the passage again as you hold the puzzle piece. Keep the puzzle piece with you this week. Carry it in your pocket, put one in your car, or on your desk to remind you that Jesus is holding all the pieces together! He is properly fixing them in their place!
What pieces do you need Jesus to hold together for you this week? Talk to Jesus about this.
What Broken Pieces in our world, in your neighborhood, in your family, or friends to you need Jesus to hold today? Pray for these. Allow Jesus to hold and carry these pieces for you! If you are doing this as a group, talk about these pieces and share your concerns with each other.
Finally, check out Puzzle Pieces and the Examen. by Becky Eldredge. If you’ve never prayed the Examen, it might be the perfect prayer practice to try and a great addition to your walk with Jesus.
Thank you Jesus for Holding the pieces of our World together, even the dislocated ones and the ones we don’t understand. Thank you Jesus that you know the missing pieces of our lives that we need to find. Thank you that you see the finished puzzle even when we are still searching to find those missing pieces. Thank you for holding each of us in the palm of your hand just like we hold this puzzle piece. Hold us close to you as we hold the puzzle piece today. Help us to see more of you in all we do. AMEN
©lillylewin and freerangeworship.com