The puzzle and the Church of Christ

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Consider the analogy of a puzzle. When each puzzle piece is properly positioned in relation to the other pieces, the puzzle is assembled. The net effect? We see the entire picture . It’s the same way with Christ and His church.
The highest purpose of the church meeting, then , is to make the invisible Christ visible through His body. Put another way, we gather together to reassemble the Lord Jesus Christ on the earth. When this happens, not only is Christ glorified in His saints, and not only is each member edified, but something is also registered in unseen realms: Principalities and powers in heavenly places are shamed.

Frank Viola, Reimagining Church, Kindle edition.

A flowering shrub called the bigleaf hydrangea

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In nature, there’s a flowering shrub called the bigleaf hydrangea. If you take the seed of that shrub and plant it in the soil of Indiana, it will yield pink flowers when it blooms. But if you take that same seed and plant it in the soil of Brazil or Poland, it will produce blue flowers. Even more interesting , if you take the same seed and plant it in another type of soil, it will yield purple flowers. The bigleaf hydrangea, however, will never produce thorns or thistles. It will never bear oranges or apples. And it will never grow tall like a pine tree. Why? Because these features are not within the DNA of the seed. In the same way, the church of Jesus Christ— when planted properly and left on its own without human control and institutional interference— will produce certain features by virtue of its DNA. Like the bigleaf hydrangea, the church may look different from culture to culture, but it will have the same basic expression wherever it’s allowed to flourish.

Frank Viola, Reimagining Church, Kindle edition.