Days of Preparation: Week Two/Session Three.
Theme: God’s Ongoing Creation.
Our reading for today: Jeremiah 18: 1-6.
So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot. Then God’s Message came to me: “Can’t I do just as this potter does, people of Israel?” God’s Decree! “Watch this potter. In the same way that this potter works his clay, I work on you, people of Israel.” Jeremiah 18: 3-6 (MsgB)
Today, I’m reminded of the old worship song written by long-time Vineyard worship leader, Eddie Espinosa:
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.
As I see it, we’re all lumps of clay on the Potter’s wheel. Author Eugene Peterson likes to call that lump of clay that God uses to create us, “Genesis-mud.”
On one hand, being nothing more than a bucket of gooey Genesis-mud is kinda degrading. Don’t you think? Yet, a bucket of gooey Genesis-mud in the hands of the master Potter is a whole different matter! As a lump of clay spinning on the Potter’s wheel, I can only imagine what’s in the creative mind of the Artist. Maybe He sees a beautiful bowl that will be used to contain a portion of His glory? Maybe He envisions a decorative jar that can be filled to the brim with clean, pure water? Water that one day might just be turned into fine wine through the words and works of Jesus of Nazareth?
Hmm. What does the Potter see in this lump of Genesis-mud, spinning in circles, wondering where in the world we’re going…and why?
I have to believe that if I keep my mouth tightly closed (lest I swallow a bunch of flying mud!) and my eyes and ears wide open, the Potter and I might make a great team. Paul wrote a lot about this idea to his friends back in the day. In his letter to the church community in Corinth, he said that each one of us is a jar of clay, which has been made to hold “the glory of Christ”, and that this treasure is to “show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (see 2nd Corinthians 4: 1-7)
Over in his letter to his friends in Rome, he warns us to not be a lump of Genesis-mud with an attitude. Discussing life with the Potter is fine, but talking back or making snide comments to the One with His hands on the Genesis-mud was a big no-no for Paul. Look at this:
Who in the world do you think you are to second-guess God? Do you for one moment suppose any of us knows enough to call God into question? Clay doesn’t talk back to the fingers that mold it, saying, “Why did you shape me like this?” Isn’t it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers and another into a pot for cooking beans? If God needs one style of pottery especially designed to show his angry displeasure and another style carefully crafted to show his glorious goodness, isn’t that all right? Romans 9: 20-22 (MsgB)
So, here I am. A lump of Genesis-mud being shaped and built into a clay vessel that one day will reflect the creative genius of the Potter, stamped with His creative mark upon my heart. Not sure how He’ll do it. At times, I wonder if He might give up on this stubborn lump of clay.
But take heart, O my soul. The Potter knows His clay and He knows, after all these years, how to make a real treasure out of a lump of Genesis-mud.
OK, sir. I’ll be quiet now. Back to Your work.
My prayer: Father, as a lump of Genesis-mud, might I say that You are doing one heck of a good job making clay into a treasured vessel. I so appreciate Your creative genius and I defer and prefer Your hands, over and above my own. Keep molding. Keep making. This is what I pray. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: So, let’s take a quick look at the Potter’s work thus far? What’s He been creating in me? Where have His hands shaped me in unique ways, making my life into the vessel of clay that can hold a bit of the treasure of His Son’s glory? What more might I do to further cooperate with the master Potter as His work continues in me?
So what is God speaking to you today as we ponder together The Ignatian Adventure?
Over an eight month period, you and I will be working our way through the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. For more information on our journey and how to begin…click here!
To go onto the next journal entry…click here.