Working the Puzzle

One of the satisfying things about working a jigsaw puzzle is that you can put in the last piece, smile and take joy in knowing you’ve completed it. My daughter, Julie, and I are working a glow-in-the-dark puzzle of underwater creatures. We’ll probably have the satisfaction today of putting in the last piece and smiling at each other.

As we’ve been laboring over this puzzle it has occurred to me that life right now is a little like this puzzle. In the midst of the pandemic we’re trying to fit the new pieces of life together – physical distancing, masks, learning about the virus, when and where it’s safe to go, who it’s safe to see – so that we can smile and say we’ve done all we could to protect those in our community and ourselves.

Your church leaders are working actively on this puzzle, too. Learning, talking, praying about how to fit the pieces of reopening our campus together – when, how, what safety measures. Right now our buildings are still closed for in-person gatherings but planning and preparations are taking place. We’re also making new puzzles, fitting the pieces of online worship, classes and groups together, as you know.

Along with the pandemic, we now are called to look at the racial injustice, hatred and violence in our society and seek to learn and understand how the pieces of all this fit together. More importantly, how can we be part of the solution to these? What is our part, our piece, in bringing hope and healing?

Looking at racial injustice begins with looking honestly and deeply within ourselves. With our Christian faith as our grounding, we ask: What words do I use that might hurt rather than help my neighbor? How do my actions harm rather than heal people? What do I need to learn to more closely have the mind of Christ, who led his followers in loving God and loving others? Then – how is God calling me to new actions that will bring understanding and healing? Perhaps that will be to join a study, have conversations or lead others in confronting injustice. God’s call will be unique for each of us.

In working these pieces of our lives, we help the puzzle of things in our world become complete and whole, covered over with God’s love.

In worship this Sunday, June 7, we talk about “Finding Hope and Peace in Troubled Times,” and celebrate Holy Communion. Prepare your bread or cracker and juice or other beverage so you can participate. All are welcome at Christ’s communion table.