Saturday, October 6, 2012

Treasure in Earthen Vessels

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 
2 Corinthians 4:7 
(Read 2 Cor. 4:1-7)

I recently saw a demonstration on pottery where the artist said,
”I like to play with dirt!”
Never really thought of pottery in that term before…
Peter with the pottery restoration.
Today, pottery is so beautifully finished with glazes of different colors and styles.  The pieces can last for many years. But, in ancient times, clay vessels were used much like we use paper plates today.  Used once, then thrown away. Very little value, if any, was put on them.  Today, archaeologist find volumes of pottery shards on their digs. Very rarely they’ll find a clay pot in tact.  My husband participated in a dig where he found 3 Roman pots in tact! He was the star for the day! Everyone stopped their digging and came over to see!  They let him hold it and take pictures with it.  But, they wouldn’t let him keep them!  Shards, on the other hand, were plentiful. After making sure there was no significant inscription on them, he was permitted to take some home. Part of his training was pottery restoration.  It’s like working an ancient jigsaw puzzle with shards to reconstruct the pottery.   Unique pieces got a place in the museum showcase.  All others were stored away, rarely to be seen.
In this passage we are pictured as earthen vessels (clay pots); made of dirt, cracked, humble and ordinary. Not a likely place to store a treasure.  Yet, God, who created the light to shine from the darkness, has chosen to shine the light in our hearts and to use us to give the light of the knowledge of God’s glory and the gospel of the Lord Jesus to others who are still in darkness.  What a treasure!
Our human weakness is not a barrier for the power of God.  God uses ordinary people.  It is because we are blessed with this wonderful treasure that we should have boldness and confidence to live for the Glory of God.
Note:  Thoughts inspired by a sermon on “God’s Glory in our Witness” by Dr. Erwin Lutzer of Moody Memorial Church in Chicago.