Lessons from a Lenticular Puzzle – Pt. 3 – “The Puzzle – Fully Interlocking”

[This post is part three of the series, “Lessons from a Lenticular Puzzle”.  To access the prior posts, please follow these links: Part 1 – “The Puzzle of Puzzles” , and Part 2 – “The Pieces – Living and Lenticular”.] 

As has been expressed thus far, the dual-imaged nature of a “lenticular puzzle” offers itself as a unique and even profound parable of the Ekklesia, the Church.  As we continue to look at this parable in this post, and also the one following, we will see how the “living pieces” of this “Puzzle of puzzles” are shaped in such a way as to give the Puzzle the distinctive characteristics of being both “fully interlocking” and also “edgeless”.  These twin characteristics are two of the most significant aspects of this Puzzle, and yet two characteristics that are often neglected, ignored or dismissed.

Fully Interlocking

As any good puzzle is, this “Puzzle of puzzles” is fully interlocking.  Each piece is designed to interconnect with the other pieces that surround it in a firm and fitting way.  It is only as this interconnection takes place that the Puzzle becomes assembled and the dual images begin to become manifest.  Each piece, therefore, has certain aspects about it that are prominent, and other areas that are deficient.  Because of the Master Puzzle Maker’s infinitely wise design, each piece is crafted so that what is deficient in one piece is supplied through the prominent aspects of other pieces, and what is prominent in one piece supplies what is deficient in other pieces.  No single piece is complete in and of itself, and no piece fulfills its intended purpose all by itself.  As the pieces interlock, therefore, they become a means of supply to and also a recipient of supply from the other pieces.  This is what joins and holds the Puzzle together.  This is similar to what the Master Puzzle Maker says concerning the Ekklesia as the body of Christ: “Dependent on Him, the whole body–its various parts closely fitting and firmly adhering to one another– grows by the aid of every contributory link.”  (Ephesians 4:16 Weymouth)

This interlocking process is absolutely essential to the assembly of this Puzzle.  Unless the pieces interlock, and stay interlocked, the puzzle has no purposeful unity.  Apart from this interlocking characteristic the Puzzle becomes merely a mass of free-floating, independent pieces that may rub up against each other, but never become “members one of another.” (Romans 12:5).  As such, they can never fulfill their intended purpose.  Loose pieces that are merely clustered together inside of “the box”, for instance, have a form of unity, but it is not purposeful unity.  They also have a form of “assembly”, being clustered together in one place, but they cannot be considered to be truly “assembled” in that state.  It is only as they are joined piece to piece, supplying and being supplied by one another, that they become rightly assembled and purposefully united to fulfill what they were designed and created for.

This assembly process is also essential to give the Puzzle its lateral strength.  It takes nothing whatsoever to pull apart a non-interlocking puzzle.  The slightest push or pull can cause a rift.  The wind can blow and it can fly apart.  God’s “Puzzle of puzzles” has some of the most powerful forces in the universe working to divide, disintegrate and destroy it so it is absolutely essential that it be “supplied and held together” (Colossians 2:9 NAS) by every interlocking feature.

This lenticular Puzzle must also interlock in order to tightly form and clearly display the collective image that it bears.  If the pieces of a puzzle designed to be interlocking were lined up next to each other, each in their proper place but not inter-connected, they would display a very disintegrated expression of its image.  Furthermore, if the pieces were randomly arranged next to each other, and not interconnected, they would simply display a mass of confusion.  Only as this “Puzzle of puzzles” interlocks properly, with each piece in its proper position, will the heavenly image of Christ be clearly displayed, and the earthly expression of the Ekklesia according to Christ be clearly manifest.  This is the very purpose for which it was designed and created, and is now being assembled.

When it comes to the assembly of this Puzzle, the Master Puzzle Maker is the One Who is overseeing and directing this interlocking process.  Only He knows where each piece is designed to fit and how to bring them into proper alignment.  As He sovereignly works, His Spirit draws together the specific interlocking pieces that belong together and reveals to them how they need each other to be complete and to fulfill their purpose.  As the living pieces cooperate with Him and are joined together in inter-locking relationship, they find a mutual supply of Christ, and also of earthly benefit, that brings about a purposeful unity, a lateral strength and a clear display of the collective image that the pieces bear.  As this interlocking work takes place, both the heavenly and the earthly images of this lenticular Puzzle are completed and filled out.

In addition to this process of assembly taking place on an individual, piece-to-piece level, it is also taking place on a collective, grouping-to-grouping level.  As multiple areas of this Puzzle are being assembled simultaneously, various disconnected groupings are forming. These are merely diverse parts of the one “Puzzle of puzzles”.  If the “box top” were not in view, and the Instruction Manual not consulted, these separate groupings may not even seem to be designed to fit together, however.  In fact, their diversity can even make it seem as if they don’t belong to the same Puzzle.  But when the big picture of the Puzzle is in view, and the Instruction Manual properly understood, it becomes clear that these diverse groupings do indeed belong together and are created to participate in the process of being interlocked one to another.  As they actively cooperate with this process, with the Heavenly Image chiefly in view, they will take on new dimensions and characteristics that will enable them fully integrate with the other groupings into the final assembly of the “Puzzle of puzzles.”

This collective work of assembly, as in the individual level, is also being overseen and directed by the Master Puzzle Maker.  More will be shared on this aspect of assembly in the next post, but let it be stressed at this point that this collective aspect of assembly is just as important to the completion of this “Puzzle of puzzles” as the individual aspect of assembly.  It is impossible for the Puzzle to come into purposeful unity, have lateral strength and fully and properly display its collective image without both aspects taking place.

It is this cooperative work of interlocking assembly, therefore, on both the individual and collective levels, that is paramount to the Puzzle becoming what it was created to be, the full expression of Christ, intricately formed and gloriously displayed by the Ekklesia.

In the next part,  we will see how these pieces being fully interlocking give this profound Puzzle the distinct characteristic of being “edgeless”.

Prior posts in series:
Lessons from a Lenticular Puzzle – Pt. 1: “The Puzzle of Puzzles”
Lessons from a Lenticular Puzzle – Pt. 2: “The Pieces – Living and Lenticular”

Next post in series:
Lessons from a Lenticular Puzzle – Pt. 4: “The Puzzle – Edgeless”

“Corporate One-Anothering” (Pt.1 of 2 of chain blog post)
“Corporate UN-Anothering”: It’s Root and Remedy (Part 2 of chain blog post)

About David

Following Him who is the Way; learning of Him who is the Truth; living by Him who is the Life. - John 14:6
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4 Responses to Lessons from a Lenticular Puzzle – Pt. 3 – “The Puzzle – Fully Interlocking”

  1. jimpuntney says:

    Truly insightful, as I was reading this the thought came to mind, ‘you cannot assemble the puzzle inside the box.’ The pieces must be brought out into the open in order to reflect the image intended.

    Looking forward to the next posting!


    • david bolton says:

      Yes, Jim. Thank you for highlighting that truth. So many think that being jumbled together in “the box”, with maybe a few pieces fit together, generally sitting on top of the (multi-leveled) pile, is what “assembly” is all about. How sad, and how far from the Lord’s intention. I’m glad that that aspect of this post stuck out to you! Thanks for the good comment!


  2. Glad to see this series continuing, David. Great stuff!


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