“Father, may they [my church] be one as we are one, that the world might believe.” (John 17)
Recently my wife and I have been connecting with various congregations in SW Florida. One exciting new church is growing so fast they are looking for a larger place to meet. Their growth may be due to the fact they have no ordained leader. They are a dedicated, close knit group, all pulling together as a team, without professional leadership. Many growing churches in Africa and elsewhere fit this pattern, i.e. being led by the people working together rather than a lone pastor.
They just announced a promising location which has a mosaic design on the facade. This is especially exciting because they call themselves Mosaic Christian Church.
When I first heard the name, my mind jumped to Paul’s powerful metaphor, likening Christ’s church to a human body with many parts. A mosaic is a single work of art created by fitting a variety of glass and stone pieces together. It’s kind of like completing a jigsaw puzzle. I’m aware of other metaphor’s for the church such as a sports team or orchestra, but not mosaic. Below is our effort to re frame 1 Corinthians 12: 12-27, likening the church to God’s mosaic masterpiece.
Christ’s church is made up of many various members, all joined together to make a whole. We are each like various pieces of a grand mosaic, which, when fully assembled, reveals God’s masterpiece, which is Jesus, the Son of God.
Some of us make up his eyes, others his mouth; still others his ears or hands. Some are smaller; others larger. Some brighter; others darker. But each of us are a necessary part for completing the whole picture. Even though we are broken pieces, when we are yielded to the Master Artist, we fit together nicely with others, creating a portrait of Christ.
How foolish to believe a mosaic is one piece. By its very nature, it is many pieces, each essential to the whole. Suppose a piece of the foot wants to be a hand. Because it’s not a hand, it feels inferior. Or what if a piece of the ear says, “I’m not an eye, so I’m not needed.” Isn’t it still necessary ? If a mosaic were only an eye, where would be the hearing? And if all pieces were ears, where would be the speaking? But God fits a vast variety of pieces together in the way he decides best.
A mosaic isn’t really complete unless all the pieces are used and none are missing or left out. God assembles us in such a way that even lesser pieces are essential. He did this so that each piece would realize its significance, fitting together with other pieces to reveal the whole.
If one piece is missing, the masterpiece is incomplete. If each piece fits in as it was meant to, the mosaic will be complete and beautiful. Together you are Christ’s mosaic. Each one of you is meant to fit together with others. Each one has a part in revealing God’s masterpiece which is Jesus Christ himself.
This gives new meaning to Jesus’s earnest prayer, repeated four times, “Father, may they [my church] be connected to each other as we are connected, that the world might believe.” (John 17, 11,21,22, Our paraphrase)