I’ve attended church my whole life. I’ve listened to lots of sermons. I’ve preached lots of sermons. They’ve brought untold good in my life. Yet, I can only remember a handful of sermons that I find myself returning to again and again. The most memorable are the ones with an illustration that takes the deepest truths of God and makes them feel like God is directly shaping one’s life.
About 10 years ago, I had one of those experiences. A friend of mine, Nancy Harbron was demonstrating pottery and reflecting on Bible texts. In the midst of her pottery demonstration and Bible explanation she shared her personal journey. I was awestruck.
God’s word states, “And yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand. (Isaiah 64:8, New Living Translation)”
Then as people reflected on their journey with God,
“God told Jeremiah, ‘Up on your feet! Go to the potter's house. When you get there, I'll tell you what I have to say.’ 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, (Jeremiah 18:1-6, The Message)”
I’ve felt that way so many times. God shapes us for purposes beyond our understanding. When we are not as He intends by His grace He simply starts over. He never quits working on us.
This Sunday at CCR we’ll have a special treat. We’ve got a potter’s wheel. We’ve got 20 kilos of clay. We’ve got a master potter and bible teacher, Nancy Harbron. I hope you won’t miss this opportunity to see God’s shaping.
P.S. Check out Nancy’s website at http://www.peacefulpottery.com/