Puzzle or Scrabbble ?

September 2, 2020,
Good afternoon,

” Is life more like a game of Scrabble,  or is it like a jigsaw puzzle ”  …. James Reimer”
And those whom he predestined, he also called, and those he called he justified; and those he justified, he also glorified ”  …. the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:30″ 
 “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly I tell you whatever you did not do to one of the least of these you did not do for me. Then they will go to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” Matthew 25:45-46

James Reimer wrote the idea about Scrabble and jigsaw puzzles in his book Dogmatic Imagination. In a puzzle, the pieces can only go in one place. In Scrabble, although you have a  playing board, and 100 letter tiles, there is much freedom, and every game is different. Do you believe everything in your life and in this world is determined like a jigsaw puzzle ? Or, do you think that there are parameters set by God, but we do have freedoms within the world, like Scrabble ? 

Paul writes in Romans about things being predetermined. God knows everything for all time. Salvation of the world was known before the world began. There is no free choice in this theology. Our eternal existence was determined before we were born ( see Psalm 139). Sometimes this is called eternal security. 
Then, in Jesus’ parable of the sheep and the goats, Jesus says at the end, that our lives will be determined by the choices we make. If we are like the sheep in the parable, then we must act well to the least of these in our world. Our choices, and doing good, in the world matters. We are called to act justly, mercifully and honestly.

So God’s world is both, a Scrabble game, and a jigsaw puzzle. Where do your beliefs in God lean towards ? Freedom of choice, or all our activity is predetermined ? The church has been debating this for 2000 years, so there is no rush to figure it out. Do you like Scrabble or jigsaw puzzles better ?

Shalom and peace for our journey together of life and faith