The Meaning of Mosaic

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A few people have asked me why our church is called Mosaic. That’s a legitimate question I am sure many people have wondered about , some have implied subtlety and not so subtlety that we use the name so we can be known as “hip” “trendy” and “pomo” I am not sure how they think that a church partly led by a 47 year old balding middle aged guy could ever be any of those things! The truth is that I chose the name because it’s a metaphor for church and in Scripture more often than not when describing God’s people it uses metaphor, so God’s people are described as a body, a family, a flock and an army among other things. A metaphor conveys truth through our imagination and for me a Mosaic is how I always imagined and longed for church to be. In a book called Missional Spirituality I came across a quote by Henri Nouwen that articulates that longing, the essence of the metaphor, better than I can, so I thought I would share it.

“A mosaic consists of thousands of little stones. Some are blue, some are green, some are yellow, some are gold. When we bring our faces close to the Mosaic, we can admire the beauty of each stone. But as we step back from it, we can see that these little stones reveal to us a beautiful picture, telling a story none of these stones can tell by itself. That is what our life in community is about. Each of us is like a little stone, but together we reveal the face of God to the world. Nobody can say “I make God visible” But others who see us can say “They make God visible” The authors of that book go on to say, ” Like a mosaic the Body of Christ is diverse, it contains varied gifts in varied personalties. Only together do we become a body …. We are God’s body language”

As I think about the future my deepest desire is not that we are simply called Mosaic Edinburgh but that we become a God designed and created mosaic for Edinburgh. That is, a community of individual broken lives which when viewed and experienced together makes our God visible and tangible to others and to our city. You see for me Mosaic is more than our name or even our aspiration as a church, it’s our mission.

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One Response to The Meaning of Mosaic

  1. James, there is something beautiful about a mosaic…. I love each aspect you mention. I also love how this beautiful picture is made from broken pieces… Blessings on you and HIS church in Edinburgh and around our world.

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