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.”
Imagine that you are that clay. As the potter’s wheel turns, you’ll probably get so dizzy from the process. And sometimes the potter will have to use much force to mold the clay into the image He wished. Perhaps the potter will see things aren't going as planned and he will pick you up, throw you back on the wheel and start all over again. Ouch! I imagine there will be times when you’ll want to jump off the wheel and say, “Enough is enough!” What then? The job would not be finished. It might be OK, but it would not be all that the potter wished it to be. Oh, and let's not forget about what happens after the pottery comes off the wheel. It then gets put into a kiln (oven) and endures a period of fire. This rather completes the analogy, wouldn't you say? As clay, let’s pray that God will give us the perseverance to stay on the wheel until His work is done, and through the ensuing fire as well.
Father, You are the potter, we are the clay. May we allow you to mold us and shape us into the image of Your Son, Christ Jesus. Amen.
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