If you’ve been a Christian for very long, you’ve already learned that the Bible often uses symbolism to help us to better understand God and what He has to say to us. One such symbol is that of the potter and the clay. In the Old Testament Book of Isaiah in chapter 64:8, Isaiah says, “And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand.” However, the most detailed potter and clay example is found in the Old Testament Book of Jeremiah and that’s our passage for today. It begins with the Lord speaking to Jeremiah:
“Go to the potter’s house. There I will give you my message.” I went to the potter’s house, and he was working there at his wheel. Whenever a clay pot he was working on was ruined, he would rework it into a new clay pot the way he wanted to make it. The Lord spoke his word to me. The Lord asked, “Nation of Israel, can’t I do with you as this potter does with clay? Nation of Israel, you are like the clay in the potter’s hands. (Jeremiah 18:2-6)
Many years ago my wife and I used to go to a compound of buildings in Williamsburg, VA called The Pottery Factory, where, among other things, they sold factory-made pottery. Now, there’s a vast production difference between pottery made by hand and pottery made in a factory. A potter works individually with each piece, turning and shaping the clay on a wheel and then firing, painting, and firing once more. It’s a labor-intensive process, completely subject to the skill, intent, and attention of the potter. Each piece is different. Factory-made pottery, in contrast, pushes the clay into pre-made molds. It’s then baked and painted. The factory process is designed to make every piece the same. God describes Himself in today’s passage as our cosmic “Potter”, lovingly forming, shaping, and working with each of us to reflect some aspect of His own image. We each reflect His image in a myriad of different ways, not just in the way we look, but in the way we think and act, right down to the level of our DNA! This morning, take a few moments to consider the wonderful limitless creativity of our Heavenly Father.
He made you to be the only you…and that’s very Good News!