Puzzles

Rich Dixon helps us think about thinking about Jesus.

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Becky’s doing a jigsaw puzzle.

It’s sort of a tradition for us, usually closer to the holidays. We listen to football or an audio book and get lost in searching for and fitting the pieces together.

This year we started early as a way to cope with a bit of added anxiety. This photo shows today’s mid-day view of normally crystal blue sky and beautiful foothills. As Colorado wildfires rage just a few miles from our house, smoke transforms our typically pristine skyline into a scene from a dystopian nightmare.

Toss in COVID and politics – it’s time for a diversion.

Sometimes I join the puzzle process, other times I write or read. Today I watched Becky hunt for pieces and realized how often we treat Jesus as a puzzle to be solved.

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I used to think I’d understand Jesus once I learned enough. I’d study the theology, the pieces would click into place, and a complete picture would make emerge.

Now I don’t think that’s how it works, because following Jesus is a relationship. We can’t solve a relationship.

We can’t define the edges of Jesus, then patiently and methodically fill in the missing parts until He’s finished. We don’t get to sit back and admire the completed product, secure in knowing we’ve got Jesus figured out.

Jesus can’t be confined within straight, well-defined boundaries. He doesn’t have a fixed number of parts with shapes that click tightly into place leaving no empty spaces.

Jesus, I think, purposely left gaps between the pieces of a story without prescribed edges. He never intended for us to systematically decipher Him.

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