What is a mosaic?
Definition: A picture or pattern created by an arrangement of colored pieces of glass, stone or tiles. Mosaics were a favorite art form in Byzantine churches from the 5th Century onward. Some striking examples can be seen on walls and ceilings in churches in Italy. They depict biblical events and scenes from the life of Christ.
The Church — the family of God — is itself a mosaic. It is made up of broken pieces, fitted together into a portrait that shows the world what God is like. This divine work of art is composed of people of every nationality, race and background. The glue that holds these diverse pieces together is the love that radiates from the heart of God into the lives of those who admit their need of Him.
Each piece in this mosaic contributes something important to the complex design. Sometimes we feel our part is too small to count for much. The jagged edges of our imperfections seem to hold no beauty. But we dare not discount the skill of the Artist.
When His work is complete, the world will see only one thing; the perfect image of Jesus, revealed through the people who love Him and love each other.
Rose of Sharon
The spring flowers are gone. The iris, daffodil, day lily and crocus have made their entrance and exit. There is a certain sadness with their passing. But the Rose of Sharon still greets each day with fresh blooms. The heat of August has not stopped the burst of cheerful color, although faded petals lie at its base. But that is not all. Each branch of this shrub is loaded with unopened buds — the promise of many more flowers to come.
The message of this plant is hope. It tells us that today is beautiful, but tomorrow and the next day can be too. Each bud awaits its turn to bring beauty to a new day.
When we consider life’s trajectory, we admit that some days are cold and depressing. Dark times will come. Fortunes rise and fall. But God promises His people “a future and a hope.” Jesus is that hope. He is our “rose of Sharon.” We need to remind each other of this continually.
That hope will buoy us up when circumstances are negative. It will bring joy into moments of despair. It will be the light that guides us through heartache and confusion. That hope flows from the never-failing love of God.
When petals fall at the end of a trying day, we have the hope of tomorrow — and beyond that, eternity.
Saying "I Do"
A formal wedding is a grand opportunity for things to go awry.
The best man may lose the rings. The DJ may cancel at the last minute. The groom may get the hiccups in the midst of his vows. The bride may be unable to stop crying. An outdoor wedding may be “blessed” with an unexpected gift when a bird flies over.
But the moment the bride and groom look into each other’s eyes and affirm their love for each other, nothing else really matters. They leave arm in arm to enter a new life together — even if the wrong song is playing.
This is much like life in the church. It’s easy to get caught up in church activities, business meetings, and fundraising. But the central purpose of the church is to experience the love of Jesus, and to share that love with others.
This was the identifying mark of the first Christians. They had none of the trappings we consider necessary for a “church.” But they had a strong bond that held them together in times of persecution and privation. They carried the glow of total devotion to Christ and His cause. They had said “I do” to the Savior.
When all else is taken away, what really matters? The love of God shed abroad in our hearts. Love that overlooks petty differences and provides a protecting wall for all who step inside the circle of fellowship. Love that enables us to face life together with God’s power.
Another Word for Love
Who are the people who have nurtured you at home and in the church?
They may not have been perfect, but God commands us to honor them.
Honor can be expressed in different ways.
We honor our parents and mentors when:
we respect them and their values;
we seek to emulate their example;
we hold them in high esteem;
we heed their counsel;
we speak highly of them;
we strengthen our relationship with them;
we thank them for what they have done for us;
we forgive their failures;
we carry on their legacy and perpetuate their vision;
we provide care and assistance when needed;
we pray for them.
Honor is simply another word for love.
I will seek ways to honor my parents, mentors and spiritual leaders.