Tonight’s family service looked at ‘The Bigger Picture’, using the analogy of the jigsaw. Life is rather like a jigsaw and we need to be aware of our part in God’s bigger picture, looking at questions like:
- What’s the bigger picture of life?
- How do all the pieces of life fit together?
- How is God’s story, the ultimate ‘bigger picture,’ told through the Bible?
- How can I understand God’s plan for my life?
- How does my life, my ‘piece of the jigsaw’, fit into God’s story, that massive jigsaw?
Our lives themselves can seem like a jigsaw, with different roles to be fulfilled (daughter, wife, mother, work colleague, friend and so on) and different aspects to life (work, home, leisure, church and so on forming different pieces) to be integrated into the whole. In addition, the Bible itself – God’s guide book to life – can seem like a jigsaw, with different parts which reveal more of God’s plans for our lives.
When doing jigsaws, it’s usually easiest to start with the edges and corners:
When we first read the Bible, we often start with the gospels, since these teach us about Jesus and Jesus really is the heart of the ‘bigger picture’ of life. Paul tells the Colossian church ‘He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.’ (Col 1:17)
When the corners and edges of a jigsaw are finished, the distinctive pieces of a jigsaw are usually tackled next: on the picture of the fish below, the fish colours are distinctive in comparison to the blue sea:
In the same way, some parts of the Bible seem easier to understand than others (stories about people, for example) and we can easily become bogged down in genealogies or Levitical laws. However, just as in a jigsaw, every single piece is needed, so we need the whole of the Bible to help us to understand the bigger picture of life: ‘All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.’ (2 Tim 3:16) Rom 15:4 tells us ‘For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.’ We need to absorb the whole of the Bible so that we can know how to live as God wants us to, being convinced (like the Thessalonians) that God’s word is not simply ‘a human word, but… the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.’ (1 Thess 2:13)