Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Jars of Clay

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

Earthen vessels are found at most every archaeological dig. These vessels can be pots, vases and many other forms of pottery. Many of these vessels are broken and must be put back together like a jigsaw puzzle. But from these vessels we learn much about ancient peoples and their community and the ways they lived.

Decorated on some vessels would be scenes from daily life. We learn what was eaten by what is found stored in these containers. Think of some of these vessels as ancient Tupperware where for centuries wheat, corn or some other grain or liquid was stored.

Many times these vessels contained important artifacts. They were a way of hiding valuables in an unlikely place. A thief would not look for something valuable in something as ordinary as a water jug. The problem with these vessels are they are very fragile and once broken they are good for nothing.

I love talking about the creation of mankind. In Genesis 2:7 we see God getting into the dirt and shaping and forming mankind. God did this as a craftsman. He created us as a work of art. Adam literally means dirt man. Like earthen vessels we are weak and easily broken. But inside each of us is a treasure. As Christians we carry the death of Christ in us so that we can reveal to others the life of Christ.

Realize that we, earthen vessels, do not equal the value of our contents. Regardless of how well we decorate ourselves. The more we decorate ourselves the less attention on the real value stored in the vessel.

As pastors it is not about me to present a message in a way that out shines the Gospel. I do not want to be a messenger that people flock to hear, rather I want people to hear The Message. Lord help me to get out of the way! I am just a weak and fragile vessel that is sometimes broken, cracked and flawed. But this broken, cracked and flawed vessel contains a message that is rich and valuable.

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