“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: ‘Come, 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. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter's hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.
Then the word of the LORD came to me: Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done?”
Jeremiah 18, Wednesday Lent Four, the Reading, the Daily Office, Year One
Ever since God’s compassion came to be the core of my reality and the means to my joy and peace, I have come to realize that my heart, mind and being are in never ending cycles of being reshaped.... Among other things my older brother is a gifted potter. There have been times when making a tall vessel that the vessel will get out of shape, in fact, the taller a vessel becomes, the more chances it will get out of shape in its formation. At these times, he must begin again. The hands which were lovingly caressing the vase in its shaping will now become balled fists, pounding down the misshapen clay to a form with which his hands may begin again the careful process of building the vase back up. Does my brother beat down the clay out of anger or to punish it? No, he’s simply preparing the clay to begin again. Compassion has taught me that God doesn't beat us down in anger either, the hardships of life, they are just how life is, yet we are given the opportunity to learn and start again. This is the nature of God’s love working in is, to see through Christ, with new eyes and a new heart, that we are ever changing, we are in Paul's words, the New Creation. And the New Creation never stops emerging, it is always new! We are constantly and forever given new life if we will participate in it. We of the New Creation are ever being restored to our true nature, the God within, Christ made manifest. Though not without challenges and hardships, for as we grow taller in Christ, in our formation and relationships of compassion, like the vase, the more likely we are to get out of shape. But that is not our end, to just be beat down, as we are in loving hands, God’s hands, the community’s hands, the hands of fellowship and in our own open hands. Like the clay reshaped, trust that we too will be raised up again in the fellowship of Christ’s compassion.