MARCH 18, 2016
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)
A trickle of water bubbles up out of the rocky cliff and tumbles down the rock face to a tiny creek below. It gurgles onward until it merges with a larger stream, one drop indistinguishable from any other. The accumulated water droplets rush forward, forming waterfalls when the growing stream drops from a
What has this to do with us, you ask? Everything. It is God’s plan of the Ages that
Quilting is another example of and metaphor for convergence. After daddy passed, mother took up quilting. It is not a craft for the impatient or uncreative. Unlike her mother’s generation, who took scraps of old clothes and sewed them together to make warm coverings for their beds, mother’s generation bought new, beautiful fabrics, and sewed them together in colorful, often complex patterns. It is a messy process which involves numerous fabrics, needles, pins, and thread, all seemingly scattered in disarray on the work surface. She began by sewing together bits of fabric, creating each block, and when she had enough blocks for the quilt, she sewed the blocks together according to the master pattern she was using.
That done, she pinned the cotton batting between the quilt pieces and the lining, and then pinned the whole thing onto a quilting frame. She had a large one set up in the living room. Her sister often helped her and they would sit there for hours taking tiny, even stitches through all the layers to hold the quilt together. A large quilt sometimes took months to complete. Once the main quilt was completed, then a pretty binding was attached all around which became the frame of a larger picture. I treasure these quilts for their beauty and their warmth, and most of all, because my mother made them.
I’ve seen quilts made of some pretty remarkable kinds of fabrics, like old outdated ties. My cousin creates fabulous quilts, using the patterns she created herself. The quilter has a picture in his or her mind as to what the finished product will look like, but to those of us looking on, it really seems in the making, to be total chaos. The end result is a cohesive whole, a design envisioned by the quilter, a product that is both utilitarian and a beautiful accent piece for any room.
I think none of us knows for sure what God’s creation made from us, His building stones, will look like exactly, but judging by the beautiful blue green planet we live on, the magnificent colors He utilized in nature, and the majesty displayed in the cosmos, it will be something spectacular to behold. According to Paul, at present, it is his church.
He was not talking about the church on Main Street, or about any denomination, but about THE Church, the body of Christ, by which all men will see “what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things; that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:9-10, RSV) Looking at any individual church today does not give any clue about what God has in mind, because sadly, churches are NOT now a cohesive whole. No worries, because according to Paul, Christ is the master builder, the chief architect: “He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities, all things were created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:15-16, RSV)
Knowing that God in Christ, “disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 2:15, RSV),
With Paul, we can be sure that, “Neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39, RSV)
Father, we thank You that You have called us to Yourself, to be like droplets in the convergent stream of living water pouring from you through Your children, and a living stone of the edifice You are building. Although we don’t know exactly what that building will look like, we trust You, the Architect of all creation, the Master Builder, to make it a stunning reflection of Your glory, light and unconditional love. We love You, worship and adore You, and rest in Your will and Your timing to bring Your master plan to fruition. Until then, we join our voices with all the Saints in glory and here on earth, “as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” Amen.