Pieced Together

I have sewn for years, both for pleasure and for business. As I have honed my craft, I have learned that I dislike sewing quilts. They are too time-consuming for my personality; however, I enjoy the beauty in little bits of cloth intricately sewn together. It especially amazes me when I see a quilt that is entirely hand-stitched together. I can appreciate how much time is involved in piecing together some of the more intricate patterns.

Quilts remind me of the Church. The Church is made up of a patchwork of people sewn together into a beautiful creation that is the Body of Christ. Each person has a unique combination of spiritual gifts, personality, and talents that by themselves are interesting and useful, but when each unique design is skillfully pieced together with the others, the end result becomes something spectacular.

Some have been given the gift of teaching or prophecy, others are gifted in administration, and still others have the gift of prayer. Some are encouragers, and others love to serve. Individually, we can make a difference in our small circles of influence, but corporately, we are able to make a difference in the world. No one is more important than another. In fact, if one piece is missing, it leaves an empty space in the pattern.

God, the master artist, has pieced us together into a beautiful tapestry. No matter your gifts or personality, you are needed. One person’s gift cannot stand alone. One person’s gift cannot meet all needs.

1 Corinthians 12:18-20 says, “But now God has placed each one of the parts in one body just as He wanted. And if they were all the same part, where would the body be? Now there are many parts, yet one body.”

Each part of the body is necessary and important. The hand or foot doesn’t work without the head. The tendons can’t hold up the rest of the body without the bones. The veins can’t send blood throughout the body without the heart.

As I looked around the congregation I belong to one Sunday, I saw some people praying for someone going through a health crisis while others were busy using their gifts serving and attending to the business matters of the church. There was laughter from many, and there were tears from others. No one was being ignored, and all felt connected. It made my heart sing. Because we are individual members of one Body with Christ as the head, we all need each other, and that makes the Church a beautiful masterpiece.

Terri Groh

Terri serves as the Northeastern Alliance women's director. She is also the disciplemaking ministries director at Jamestown (NY) C&MA Church. She has served in full-time ministry alongside her husband, Dan, for the past 34 years. A consecrated worker with The Christian and Missionary Alliance, Terri holds a BA in psychology from Nyack College and a Master of Professional Studies from Alliance Theological Seminary. She has authored five women's devotional books. www.encouragementforadiscouragedworld.com

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