Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Potter and the Clay

We all fade like a leaf,
and our iniquities, like the wind,
take us away.
There is no one who calls
upon Your name,
who rouses himself to take hold of You;
for You have hidden
Your face from us,
and have made us melt
in the hand of our iniquities.
But now, O Lord, You are our Father
we are the clay, and You are our potter;
we are all the work of Your hand.
(Isaiah 64:6b-8)

It is easy to forget that God made us, especially when we hate the body He made for us. Then again, Adam and Eve had perfect bodies, and that didn't work out so well for them, did it. They had God’s love and all the wonderful things that go with it: food, total safety, complete health, happiness, each other. No worries. No stress. They knew God face to face. They had conversations with Him, walked with Him and talked with Him like that old hymn says ("In the Garden" by Charles Austin Miles, 1912), and they probably laughed with Him, too. And they threw it all away because they wanted more. Don't make the same mistake.

God turned Adam and Eve out of the Garden for their sin against Him, but He didn't turn them out of His love. His love is Christ, and His Love came to save us all from that very same sin of wanting more than Love, of good enough not being enough. Jesus died for that sin: the sin that belongs Adam and Eve, the sin that belongs to the world, the sin that belongs to you and to me, the sin where we all forget what's RIGHT and TRUE and PERFECT and seek something more... something that doesn't exist.

We'll never get it exactly right. I know I'll never be “happy” with this diseased body of mine, gift though it may be. And so we thank God above all things for the sacrifice of His one and only Son because here in our imperfect world with our imperfect bodies, that alone gives us peace and contentedness, along with the knowledge that God's unshakable LOVE for us made the sinners saints, the weak strong, the dead live, the blind see, the hungry eat, the lame walk, the sad laugh, the sick healthy, and our broken hearts whole again.

God's LOVE made a poor baby born in a manger King and clay is something to be loved. I'm not a mistake. I'm not meaningless. I'm not disgusting. I'm living proof of the Gospel of Christ. How can I hate that?

But we have this treasure in jars of clay,
to show that the surpassing power belongs to God
and not to us. For we who live are always
being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that
the life of Jesus also may be
manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you.” 

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