Today we see what I hope is a familiar story in Jeremiah 18. Though you may not know the chapter and verse, it is the story of Jeremiah going to watch a potter at work. More in a moment. In the Gospel, we read the final verses in Matthew 13, the “parable chapter.” Jesus tells one more parable about a net collecting fish, and how it brings up the good with the bad. At the end of the age, they will be separated. Where will we end up?
God sends Jeremiah to observe a potter working. As the clay spins, the potter’s hands shape it and mold it into something useful and beautiful. But if the clay doesn’t cooperate, he thumps it into a lump and starts all over again. The message from God is in verse 6, “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, house of Israel.”
We need to be like that clay in the hands of the potter, allowing God to mold us and shape us. Now and again, he may have to start over. It can be a painful process. The final step in the process for the clay is being put into a fiery oven. Isn’t life sometimes like that. When we allow God to complete the process, we will surely turn out beautiful and useful.
Father, like clay in the hands of the potter, we submit ourselves to you today. Mold us and shape us into the image you desire. Amen.