Jeremiah’s Pottery (29-09-21)
Bible Reading: Jeremiah 18:1-6
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: "Go down to the potter's house, and there I will give you my message." So I went down to the potter's house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the Lord came to me. He said, "Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?" declares the Lord. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.
I remember doing pottery on a potter’s wheel at school. I made a very misshapen cup and a rather weird-looking head. Not really my forte. More recently I have made some pottery using slip moulds which was much more successful but took little or no skill on my part; I simply poured the liquid clay into the mould and waited for it to set.
God uses the image of a potter to show Jeremiah how he shapes and reshapes our lives. What does the image of God as a potter conjure up in your mind? How does it fit with the way you normally imagine God?
Can you imagine yourself as clay in God's hands? You are in the hands of a skilled craftsman, his hands are strong and at the same time sensitive to the clay, gently shaping you as he thinks best. How does it feel?
Jeremiah’s potter reshaped some clay that had become marred. He gently removed the imperfections and then skilfully remoulded the clay. Could you see God doing that in your life?
We all allow imperfections into our lives, and they are dealt with through the death and resurrection of Jesus. But God doesn’t just pick out the imperfection to leave a hole or a scar, he gently and lovingly smooths the clay so there is no trace of the imperfection left.
As a potter works the clay he continually adds water so that the clay doesn’t dry out but remains workable. In a similar way the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives to keep us malleable and flexible in God’s hands. Are there any areas in your life that have hardened over? Will you allow God's Holy Spirit to soften them so that God can lovingly reform that part of your life?
Imagine yourself as clay in God’s hands, the imperfections have been removed and God is now shaping you as seems best to him. What might he be shaping you into; a cup, a vase, an ornament? What item of pottery might best express how God might be wanting to use you?
Loving God, I place myself into your hands. Shape me and mould me according to your will, and use me for your purposes,
to glorify your name.
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