Monday, September 22, 2003
I hope I don't have to be an expert on a subject to talk about it - in this case, weaving a tapestry. Actually, Carol, our receptionist, is a very "crafty" type woman, and that includes making some beautiful tapestries. She taught me something about this kind of artwork the other day - that it likes to unravel. All those threads that she so skillfully weaves into a creative pattern have this natural tendency to unravel, thus destroying that design that she's worked so hard on. So how do you keep it together? Carol says you put this frame around the tapestry, and with everything held together by the frame, you can keep weaving the tapestry without it unraveling.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "When The Tapestry Is Unraveling."
God's been weaving you into one of His tapestries - your family, your church (that's the tapestries that He does), maybe the people you minister with, your network of Christian relationships. The threads in God's masterpiece are His children, who like threads are in any tapestry, are very different from one another. People who are mostly head, people who are mostly heart, soft people, rough people, outspoken people, soft-spoken people, compliant folks, controlling folks, race horses, plodders.
In Ephesians, God describes His family as a healthy body, "joined and held together by every supporting ligament," a body that "grows and builds itself up in love" (Ephesians 4:16). We're supposed to be held together in love and harmony. But, like a tapestry, there's this tendency to unravel. Which may be what is happening with the tapestry you're part of. There's strain, tension, misunderstanding, negativity, criticism, maybe backbiting or backstabbing, there's unrest, trash talk, growing resentments, little cliques or power blocs, or walls developing between people.
God knows we tend to unravel from each other. That's why He gives us a framework for keeping the tapestry together in our word for today from the Word of God in Ephesians 4:2-3. "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." That "make every effort" word is the Greek is a verb from which we get our word energy - "put a lot of energy into staying unified."
If the tapestry of believers around you seems to be unraveling some, would you be the one who does whatever it takes to stop that unraveling? You may need to be the peacemaker, or maybe the confronter of what's causing the problem, or it could be that you need to play the role of the forgiver who allows a healing process to begin. If you're harboring any anger or resentment, if you're nursing a grievance, if you're allowing distance or harshness to develop, then you are contributing to the unraveling of the tapestry that God has so carefully woven together. To keep the tapestry together, you need to be that person who is "completely humble and gentle ... patient, bearing with one another in love."
Allow no walls to develop and no wounds to go untreated. Aggressively try to keep everyone's eyes on Jesus, the Frame Who holds us together forever. We've all been to the same cross to have our sins forgiven. We're all indwelt by the same Holy Spirit. We'll all be together in the same heaven forever. We all bow at the same name, the name of Jesus. Jesus has worked hard to weave the tapestry you're part of. He's spent an awful lot on it. Don't be a part of letting it unravel.