26 March 2013 by Adeline Lum CM –
‘The Chess Chronicles- The Church that God Intended’ written by Wilson Ng was wittily written in juxtaposing a Christ-like life with a game of chess.
Did you know that chess is 1500 years old in this world, stretching back into the medieval times? At that time, it reflects the church, its social structure and political governance.
So, why is life like a game of chess? When the game is over, every piece goes back into the ‘box’. Hence, analogous to that, whether we are rich or poor, ruler or subordinates, we all go back to our ‘box’ before rising to meet our God.
Chess is made up of play pieces including the rook, knight, bishop, queen, king and pawns. In this case, a clever resemblance was drawn to reflect the fivefold ministry mentioned in Ephesians 4, where the rook resembles a teacher, the knight as a prophet, the bishop as an evangelist, the king as a pastor, the queen as an apostle and the pawn as a congregational member.
For example, the rook or castle moves in straight lines, unwavering from its course. This represents resolute and unshakeable truth. The knight, on the other hand, could jump over other pieces, which represent that it is ‘formidable in attack, as well as clever in retreat’ (page 15).
Counting down the rules of chess in relation to the church, here are the 12 rules:
1. Each piece is unique in shapes and size, and also roles and functions.
2. Every piece is important, just like everyone is important in the body of Christ!
3. Don’t give your pieces away. In other words, watch over your brethren.
4. Use all your pieces in achieving a ‘checkmate.’ Pulling in a pool of strengths and talents from everyone would ensure the reaching of a goal.
5. Control the center of the board and you will control all. The center of the Bible is love, where the two main commandments are love your God and love your neighbor as yourself. Drawing on that center, everything would be at okay.
6. Realize the potential of your current positioning whether in the office or at home.
7. A pawn can be promoted to a Queen, just like how David was promoted to be a King, Esther to Queen and Joseph to Vice President.
8. Great games of chess are won with brilliant sacrifices at the right time. Surrendering or giving up a resource for an eternal value of the gospel at the right time is worthy.
9. Protect your king, which is the pastor in this case. Like holding up the hand of Moses (Exodus 17:12), we as church members should pray and lift up our pastors in prayer.
10. Move strategically and anticipate outcomes for your actions.
11. You are free to choose. Every choice made presents a new set of circumstances and also consequences. So, choose wisely.
12. Finish the race well, don't start off well but lose out in finishing like Lot’s wife and Judas Iscariot.
And of course, these are just a gleaning of the book, teaching how a wise Christian life is like a good game of chess. A short book of 82-pages, The Chess Chronicle gives insightful analogies of how to apply the structure, rules and strategy of playing chess into our Christian walk.
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