The potter sits at his wheel. With a firm but gentle touch, he begins to shape the clay as the wheel turns. He already knows what he’s going to make, he sees the image clearly in his mind. This wont be a water pot, an urn, a mug, a bowl, nothing for use; it will be a centre piece worthy of royalty. No flowers will be needed to enhance it’s beauty; it’s sole purpose will be to sit on a pedestal and be admired for it’s beauty.
We are vessels; but unlike this pot, our maker fashioned us for a purpose.
It is disheartening to admit however that many of us are more like this pot than we realize. We have abandoned our purpose and are now only for show. Water pots, carefully disguised in coats of ceramics paints, just sitting around waiting to be admired for doing nothing.
If you haven’t yet deciphered my analogy, let me break it down for you. We Christians, and I am talking directly to Christians now, have become so caught up in surface things- our look, our style, ourselves, our friendships, impressing the world- that we have neglected to fill up on the inside. We focus so much effort on how people see us, that we forget that God reads the heart.
Now answer me this.
If we are empty on the inside, lacking the spirit of God in our lives, how do we praise?
If we are empty, then isn’t our praise the same?
I’ve been in church on so many occasions, waiting for the ministry of someone to touch my heart… and then… nothing. I’ve stood with the congregation to sing beautiful lines of hymns that should inspire such thanksgiving and praise… and then… nothing. I’ve heard sermons, readings, scriptures that should cause the heart to burst with joy, to cause such a ring out of amens that the walls cannot sustain themselves… and then… nothing.
Yet, we own the latest and most expensive clothing, accessories and devices, which of course must be present at church. We sing and perform with such theatrics and perfectly arranged parts. We read and preach with such eloquence… Yet…
Yet, our praise reaches not even our own heart much less the courts of heaven.
We have become nothing but empty vessels. Empty vessels which need to filled. Until we have come to a realization of the state we find ourselves in- yes, I’m included- we can never truly claim to be converted. And without conversion what is life but the time before death.
Each vessel the potter sculpts has a purpose. Each one is made to hold the water of life and deliver it to someone in need. The beautiful pot may lose it’s beauty with time, it may break, never doing more than catching a moments notice. But the working water pot, will quench the thirsting soul.
What kind of vessel are you?
P.S. Empty vessels make the most noise.