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Stories We Tell: The Last Puzzle Piece
by By Randy Brehms
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Description: http://ts4.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4623597977273391&w=179&h=186&c=7&rs=1&pid=1.7Last week I went to the local thrift store and bought a 500 piece puzzle for a dollar. On the outside of the box there’s a picture of the puzzle inside – a picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. The full moon is shining down. Jesus is kneeling in prayer with upturned face and folded hands. It’s a familiar picture.

So I took the dollar puzzle home, opened the box, and spread the puzzle pieces across the kitchen table. Right away I could see that the puzzle had been put together numerous times by the previous owner – many of the puzzle pieces were bent and broken by trying to jam pieces together that just didn’t fit.

Description: http://ts3.mm.bing.net/th?id=H.4757957440113190&pid=1.7Over the next couple of hours I laid down piece after puzzle piece, until the last piece in the box found its place. Standing back to admire my puzzle masterpiece, I was stunned to discover that one piece was missing from the very face of Jesus. I looked for that missing piece under the box. I looked for that missing piece under the table. And then it dawned on me – the missing piece was  probably lost by the previous owner. Sighing with disappointment, I realized that my beautiful picture, bent pieces and all, had something missing. Something vitally important to the total picture.

Christianity has been compared to a 500 piece puzzle, with Seventh-day Adventists being only one piece of that puzzle. Just one piece. One of 500. Nothing special, nothing unique. The reality, however, is that without the one piece, the picture is incomplete.

Any theology that marginalizes the importance of any piece of the entire puzzle is problematic. However innocent the intentions, it is fatal to the total picture. While we as Seventh-day Adventist are one piece, we are a significant piece. We are privileged to be the piece that completes the picture.

Randy Brehms is pastor of the Lakeport and Upper Lake, California churches