Image found at: achurch4me
Story of missing puzzle piece – When my daughter was almost one and a half, I was working on redecorating her bedroom. I bought some bright colored fabric and sewed some curtains and bought a new comforter for her new toddler bed. To complete the decorations I found a puzzle that matched the design of her curtains and spent many evenings working on it. I filled in the sky, the houses and all the people in this colorful parade scene. But when I got to placing the last piece of the puzzle, it was nowhere to be found. I searched our apartment from top to bottom, emptied the trash, a vacuumed every corner. I even checked the vacuum cleaner bag – but the missing piece was nowhere to be found.
I had planned to seal the finished puzzle with puzzle glue, frame and hang it on my daughter’s bedroom wall. But now, my plans - along with the last piece of the puzzle were lost.
For a day or so I sulked about the missing puzzle piece. I considered going a buying another puzzle just to search for one I was missing.
Then all of the sudden, a new idea came to mind.
Life is not perfect. There are many things that are missing and out of place, but that doesn’t mean you stop living.
With that realization, I looked at the incomplete puzzle with new eyes. I got out the puzzle glue and sealed it as it was. The next day it was placed in a frame and hung on the wall. When friends came over to see the room’s transformation, I’d challenge them to try and find the missing piece in that puzzle, and rarely could they find it.
What was first thought of as ruined and imperfect became a focal point that shouted of beauty; when looked at through the eyes of humility and grace. What I had wanted to be perfect, had not turned out to be so; but making peace with the project helped me to see beauty in and unexpected place.
Jesus –Christ the King: makes peace in places that miss the mark.
Earlier this week I had the honor of helping the staff of the Resource Center as they grieved the sudden loss of one of their residents. Mary life had its challenges as she had many needs, but what she is most remembered for was her smile, her love of surprises, her joyful response to affection, and her love of dancing. I was so impressed with was how her community at the Resource Center gathered to tell stories of her life and celebrate that she not only was remembered by them - but by Jesus too. Mary’s life was not perfect; but it was beautiful. The beauty of her life was evident in the testimony of the many people that knew and loved her, as well as in the promise of God’s care and forgiveness through the work of Jesus on the cross. By sharing in Mary’s life this week, I was privileged to see beauty, love and grace in an unexpected new place.
Jesus –Christ the King: makes beauty in the midst of the struggle with imperfection.
Jesus is a new kind of King:
When we celebrate Christ the King Sunday, our thoughts may jump to other places in scripture; like the triumphant entrance of Jesus riding on a colt from Luke 19.
“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”
Or even the announcement of Jesus’ birth in Luke 2, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among who he favors!” and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
But Luke 23 tells of Jesus crucifixion, mocking and public humiliation, and insults. From the sign over his head, reading ‘KING OF THE JEWS’, to the soldiers gambling to own his garments, and the thief next to him shouting, “Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” This ugly, upsetting and imperfect scene does not seem fit for a king.
Image found at: http://www.omargutierrez.com: Tranlated "Victim of love"
But Jesus was not just any King. He was and is “Christ the King”.
“Jesus … is the one who serves others. The one who takes up the burdens of others is the one who comes in the name of the Lord. “(“With the eyes of faith” by: Delmer Chilton)
While so many turned away from Jesus in that terrible moment on the cross, the second thief recognized this humble, self-sacrificing King, and recognized his need for him. He called out for help.
“…somehow, the second thief got it, saw what Jesus was doing, saw that here was the lord of the universe, the king of kings, refusing to swat his oppressors, dying so that they could be forgiven, dying so that by his suffering their suffering would be healed.” “(“With the eyes of faith” by: Delmer Chilton)
Jesus –Christ the King: withstood great persecution in order to offer salvation.
The missing peace:
The missing pieces of life are often much bigger than the one I was searching for to make a perfect space for my daughter to sleep and play in. But the lesson of looking for beauty in an imperfect world is one that is enormously important.
The stories I heard of Miss Mary’s life also remind me that while people and life are not perfect; there is beauty to be found all around us.
Jesus, Christ the King, and his conversation with the thief on the cross is the ultimate example of finding beauty in the midst of ugliness. Jesus has eyes to see and remember beauty, where no one else can. For the lost, the missing, the broken and plain; Jesus sees beauty through his eyes of love and forgiveness.
Like the old hymn that goes…(sung)
Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home
When Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is he
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me
I sing because I'm happy
I sing because I'm free
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches He watches me
His eye is on the sparrow and I know he watches me…
Jesus is the missing piece we all need to restore our lives to God. And not only is a piece of “restoration”; but complete peace. His eye is on the sparrow, the thief, and on each one of us; finding beauty in the broken, missing and all lost pieces of life.
Thank you for Jesus “Christ the King” – the one who came to give himself for us and through him – the pieces and peace of our life is restored.