Many years ago, my Grandmother taught me to crochet and my Aunt taught me to knit. Both crocheting and knitting involve creating knots in yarn when you follow the pattern so that the work will be beautiful and reflect that which you want to create.
I have long ago forgotten how to crochet, but I remembered enough about knitting to pick it up in recent years. And, thanks to instructional videos on youTube, books that I had purchased long before youTube was a twinkle in anyone’s eye (and which were still available in the house, due to my pack-rat nature) about how to create stitches, and a recent Christmas present from our Daughter, I have made several items including:
A long scarf of light silver blue, ethereal yarn.
A white shawl knit with yarn that has silver specks throughout. Very subtle. .
A baby blanket and matching cap for a yet unborn recipient.
As well as dozens of little baby caps for our missionary team to take to Cuba for use with newborn infants in the hospital in an effort to keep flies away from the infants. It is humbling to knit these caps which are supposed to be the “size of a small orange” and to contemplate the little head that will fit into the cap.
I am not an accomplished knitter by any stretch of the imagination. I enjoy doing it but I have not attempted sweaters or vests or anything that is complex in nature. Just not there yet!
I do know, however, that there are two stitches in knitting and everything is based on those two stitches – knit and purl. That’s it. There are slip stitches, knit two together, and other stitches with names that I likely mispronounce, all of which create various patterns and textures for the piece, but they are all based on knit and purl. Essentially, these two stitches create knots in the yarn and, once the knot is fixed, you go on to make the next knot!
The yarn that I have used is not special stuff or exotic in any respect. There is, however, a wide variety of yarns, which by definition is a continuous strand of twisted fiber. Natural fibers include wool or cotton, cashmere and silk. You can also knit with bamboo, linen and synthetic fibers such as nylon and acrylic. I even saw a pattern for knitting a reusable recyclable tote using grocery store plastic bags as the “yarn”.
Recently, when I worked on the baby blanket and cap, I was thinking about the transformation of the single strand of yarn into a usable blanket and cap. Just knotting the yarn in knit and purl stitches row after row created a fabric that has far more uses, and is far stronger, than the single strand of yarn itself.
I suggest that the individual Christian is, in some ways, like that strand of yarn. We can do some things, but we cannot be as effective on our own as we can be when we are joined with our Christian brothers and sisters. Don’t take the analogy too far – we do not want to get so knotted up that we are not able to do our work. But, when we are knit into the fabric of the body of Christ, we are strong and we can be used by the Lord in a myriad of ways.
The Apostle Paul talks about believers in this way.
For I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you and for those at Laodicea and for all who have not seen me face to face, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Colossians 2:1-3 ESV
Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.
Colossians 2:18-19 ESV
The believers in our Lord are “knit together in love” and when we hold to our Head, the Lord Jesus Christ, we are knit together and are granted growth from God.
Knitting with yarn is fun and we can create lovely things just by twisting the yarn in knit and purl stitches. But, when we are knit together in love with one another in the body of Christ, just imagine what He can accomplish through His Spirit for His Church.
By the way, when you drop a stitch in knitting, you can go back and pick it up and, if done carefully, the pattern is not destroyed. Left unattended, that errant stitch can unravel and potentially ruin the entire work. In the same way, when one of the believers in the church is in trouble, has difficulties or is unable to do the work assigned, the rest of the body can, and should, step in and “pick him/her up” restoring the person to fellowship and tending to the physical, financial, emotional and spiritual needs that have arisen. In this way, the church’s work is unharmed and the Lord in honored. That is what being knit together in love is all about!
Praise the Lord for His mercy, grace and love and praise Him for knitting us together in His love.
Father, I thank you for your grace in providing the Church for support, encouragement, instruction, guidance and reproof as I go along my Christian walk. I pray that I would not be the stitch that drops off the needle so that my assigned task done for Christ would unravel. Thank you that we are knit together in love, your love!