By the Rev. Katie Wright
I am a person who likes puzzles. Often on vacation there is a big 1,000 piece puzzle set out, and I like to sit and fuss with it. Finding the edges, sorting by color, figuring out how all these little pieces are going to come together to recreate the image on the box. Some puzzles are easier than others, some pieces within each puzzle are easier than others to figure out, but each piece has a place, and there is great joy as we figure out where each one goes.
Church life is much like that – on all levels. As an individual figuring out these pieces of the Christian life and how they all fit and work together, as a congregation ordering our common life and God’s will for us, as a part of the Diocese of Texas, the Episcopal church, the world-wide Anglican communion and Christianity everywhere. The questions are similar: Where are the edges? How do the pieces fit together? What spot do I fill right now, and how do I help others find a good spot?
Now, this analogy is not perfect. I don’t believe there is only one right answer for each one of us – we are more adaptable and creative than small pieces of cardboard! God’s got a great image of the world for us to help create, but there are a variety of ways to get to that final creation.
This Sunday’s readings, for this final Sunday in Lent before we get to Palm Sunday and Holy Week, are all about new life in unexpected places. The dry bones that Ezekiel sees and speaks new life to and the raising of Lazarus by Jesus after days in the tomb. The pieces that have been tossed aside as not really fitting in, or the parts of the puzzle that we think are impossible to complete. We have those times, when we believe all hope is lost and the death is complete. And sometimes, for now, it is. But we are a resurrection people. The tomb, death, is not the end. It is not lost or dead forever. The image will come together, God’s will completed.