Monday, August 4, 2014

Knitting Needles

                My mom had a knack for sewing and knitting and crocheting. She not only made most of our clothing when we were kids, but she crocheted and knitted blankets and a number of other things as well. This morning, as I was praying for our ladies in our women’s study, I was reminded of my mom, sitting in her rocker recliner, with her crochet/ knitting needles, peacefully making a scarf or blanket for someone she loved. I used to sit and watch her hands as they would bend and twist to pick up the next strand of yarn, joining it to the pattern she was creating. She would loop the yarn around her needles, gently pulling them together, then another one, one loop after the other until eventually the piece was finished. I never had the patience it took to spend that much time in one place, so I just never got the hang of it. But, being reminded of my mom’s love and the gentle hands for knitting also brought to my remembrance a passage of scripture.
                “being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ.” Colossians 2:2
                Paul writes to the Colossians that he desires for their hearts to be knitted together in love. The words “knit together” mean exactly that. It means to join one piece with another. What a beautiful picture for us who are of the family of God- God, taking us, simple pieces of yarn and joining us together to create one final masterpiece. I believe that the Lord wants to show us what it means to be knit together. That was my prayer this morning for the ladies in our study that we would be knit together in love. That is my prayer for all of us who are of the household of God.
                Throughout Church history, unity has always been a struggle to maintain. We have drawn lines of denominations, we have set ourselves apart from one another because one part of the body does it this way, and some of the body does it that way. We have separated ourselves due to race, religion and creed. Unfortunately, this has caused the body of Christ to unravel, more often than not. But I think the Lord wants us to the see the beauty in unity that we can have. Not only as the Church as a whole, but as individual members of the same body.
                Paul writes to encourage the Colossians to be unified, through his use of the words “knit together”. For those of you who knit or crochet you will understand the analogy that I am using. It is God’s desire for us to be knitted together. He is the hands that are holding us, His needles. His hands are the ones that bring the next piece of the yarn up and through the loops to make us one whole, complete piece. When we choose to divide ourselves, when we choose to separate ourselves from the body, we have become difficult to use, and the piece He wants to create becomes knotted and twisted, almost unusable.
                I think it is important for us to see the need for love within our churches. I have women who come to me and tell me that they feel like outcasts in their own church. The cliques have taken over and they feel left out. They feel like the discarded yarn that wasn’t good enough to use. However, when we understand what God wants from us, then maybe we will stop this nonsense of division and come together, allowing the Lord to knit us together in love.
                The Lord God wants to use us, His needles, to pick up the yarn that is yet to be added in. He wants us to be willing to bend and to twist so that He can bring us together, one loop after the other. If all we do is stay in our groups, if all we do is focus on those we know and feel comfortable with, then how will anyone else ever be able to become part of the masterpiece that our God is creating with us? I know for myself that it is hard to step out of my comfort zone, walk up to someone standing off to the side by themselves and just start a conversation. But, I remind myself that I was once that person too. I once began going to church all by myself. My husband was not a believer, so it was just me- standing against the wall, waiting for the doors to open so that I could go in and worship the Lord.
                It was that woman who came up to me and introduced herself. It was that woman who asked my name, and began to take an interest in me, that allowed me to become part of the masterpiece my Father in heaven was creating. It was because she was willing to be the knitting needles in His hands, which allowed me to become knitted together with the others. It is the willingness to step out and welcome one another, the willingness to open our hearts to one another that knits us together.

                What if we, as His knitting needles, would be willing to take a chance and invite someone to church, or invite them to a study we attend, or just be willing to walk up to them on a Sunday, and invest our time into them. That is truly the only way we will ever be able to become knit together in love. We are all part of the same body. We are all part of the same Spirit. We are all part of the same Lord. We are all part of the same masterpiece.  God desires unity with His children, not divisions, not cliques, not separation. He desires for us to be knit together in Him, until He completes the masterpiece of His glory in us and through us. Until we all come to the fullness of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ.

                Take a step towards unity, take a chance and be willing to be the knitting needles in the hands of our Mighty God. In Jesus Name, Amen.