Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Morning Psalms: 101, 109 | Evening Psalm: 119:121-144
Jeremiah 18:1-11 | Romans 8:1-11 | John 6:27-40
As we begin reading today’s passage from Jeremiah we may feel we are on familiar ground. The metaphor of the potter and clay in verses 1-4 is a common one and accessible even to those of us not familiar with the intricacies of throwing a pot on a wheel. We may also remember the popular praise song that includes the lyrics, “You are the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me, this is what I pray.”
But the tone begins to change as we continue into the heart of the passage and we are led to these chilling words: “Behold, I am shaping disaster against you and devising a plan against you” (v 11). Speaking through his prophet Jeremiah, our potter-God reminds us of His absolute Lordship over us clay-men and women. Our resistance to being shaped by God’s own hands has life-and-death consequences. God makes it very clear that individuals and nations alike are subject to judgment.
But there is still good news here. During Lent we are called into a season of self-reflection, confession, and repentance individually and corporately. It is in this journey that we become particularly aware of the enormity of God’s grace in coming among us as both potter and clay. Jesus Christ was shaped into the perfect vessel that contains all of our sins. That vessel was willingly broken on our behalf. But from the broken shards, God creates new vessels, still imperfect and subject to breaking, but held together by the power of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit by which God resurrected Jesus Christ from the dead. We are these vessels, thanks be to God.
Change my heart oh God, make it ever true
Change my heart oh God, may I be like You.
You are the potter, I am the clay
Mold me and make me, this is what I pray.
The Venerable Mark Stevenson, PhD (MAR 1998)
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