Formed by the Potter

Pastor Darren Kishimoto   -  

Do you remember being in school and making stuff out of clay? From what I recall, it would usually be for some special occasion like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day? Everyone would get a lump of clay to shape into something to give to their parents. You’d work the clay in your hands and mold it before putting it into the kiln to dry. After it dried, you could paint it and make it look nice to give to your parents. Those were stressful times weren’t they? My artistic abilities were so limited it was hard for me to even conceive of something I could actually shape with my hands. One time I made an ashtray for my dad (hey it was the 1970s and everybody smoked). Even that turned out barely recognizable. I’m thankful that my kids like art and are good at working with their hands.

In every sense of the word, God is an artist. He creates and he expresses himself. He forms and shapes things to be pleasing to him. In Genesis 1:1, it says “In the beginning God CREATED the heavens and the earth.” The beauty we see in nature and the universe around us are part of God’s creative expression. And, as hard as it is to believe sometimes, so are we. As it says in Ephesians 2:10, “we are God’s handiwork (his masterpiece) created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” God made you with purpose and intention. Though we have been marred by sin, if we have yielded ourselves to Christ, then God will continue to form and shape us into people that are pleasing to him. He is the potter and we are the clay.

Jeremiah 18:1-7 says, “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do. Then the word of the Lord came to me: ‘O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? declares the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.'” In this passage, God invites Jeremiah to enter a potter’s shed and observe the potter working with clay. It says that the initial vessel made was spoiled or marred but the potter reworks it. He invites us to see God as an artisan hard at work on his people.

Unlike some of us, God is not limited in artistic skill or ability or intention, but the clay must cooperate. It must remain soft and pliable, willing to be formed and shaped by the potter. The clay is meant to serve the potter’s design and purpose. Likewise, you must cooperate with what God wants to do in your life. As he stretches you and shapes you in church, at home, in his Word, do not resist his work in your life. He is making you into the vessel he wants you to be. Isaiah 64:8 says, “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.”

God bless,

Pastor Darren