When I was a kid my step dad would take my sister and I to the ceramic shop to pick out different ceramic pieces to be fired and then painted. We painted all kinds of things each Saturday as we would make our way out to this place in Caldwell to practice our art. In our minds (which were all of 12 years old) we were creating masterpieces. We worked our way through the seven dwarves, various other animals, plates and cups as well as many "gifts" that I am sure that my mother was "thrilled" to receive. Over the years though our "masterpieces" were lost, broken, left behind and discarded. Even now, not even boxed up in storage, I don't think I have a single piece of ceramic left from those Saturday afternoons.
Today we read, what was sure to be familiar to many of you, several different passages of scripture. One in particular creates such a wonderful word picture that it has had songs written about it, paintings made from it, allegory's written about it, sculptures carved based on it and it has been a visual image of what we, as followers of Christ are to be in the hands of our Father.
Isaiah 64:8 - Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.
He is the potter we are the clay. The metaphor is SO familiar and obvious that it hardly bears explaining or repeating but the truth is real. We have a choice to allow God to shape and control our lives or we can take on that responsibility ourselves. We can allow the God who created all that is and ever will be to speak truth into our lives or we can listen to the world and its truth. We can trust God to continue to shape and mold us even when it seems he is far away or we can decide that we don't feel like being molded because it is to painful and stressful, turning to our own wisdom instead.
Many of us have plenty we could tell about the exploits and adventures we have had when we decided to mold our own clay. And many of us have scars to prove it. Both physical and emotional. But God has a plan that, although stretching at times, will shape us into being the man or women of God that he has called us to be.
The question to ponder this weekend is this. Who is it that I am allowing to "shape" the pottery of my life? Is it the world and all the truth that it puts forth or is it straight from the throne room of God and the truth that has been before the foundation of the world? As has always been the case, even from the very beginning,.....The choice is ours.