Monday, August 6, 2012

Imperfect Vessels

Usually my blog postings center on politics, but there is one thing far more eternal and important than politics--faith. The minister at my church asked me to write a short article for this past Sunday's church bulletin. I wrote it last Tuesday and emailed it to our church secretary. I didn't read it again until Sunday morning. Re-visiting those Scriptures again came at a perfect time, when I really needed to challenge myself with the Word of God. Sometimes, it's too easy to focus on perceived or real imperfections and even compare one's situation in life with others--jobs, marriage, children etc-- and not realize that God has you in at a certain station in life for His purposes. This is something that I need to remind myself of--and often. Here is the bulletin article:
One of the most compelling stories in the Bible came in John 9 when the disciples questioned Jesus about a man who was blind from birth. The disciples asked, “ who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus responded, “ [n]either this man nor his parent sinned, but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life”.  Jesus then healed the man. Because of this man’s physical ailment, Jesus was able to show His power and love through His healing.

Jesus often uses our physical and spiritual imperfections to show His power and reveal His glory. In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Paul writes, “ [b]ut we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us”. We are merely vessels that carry the death of Christ to enable the life of Christ to be revealed in us (2 Corinthians 4:10). Jars of clay are mundane objects.  Clay itself is not particularly valuable or useful. However, once it has been molded for a specific purpose, it has amazing potential, not because of what it is, but because of what it can carry. 
As jars of clay, we may have cracks or smudges, but our value as such a vessel is due to the fact that we carry the treasure of Christ. In spite of those imperfections, God uses us. God spoke through Moses in spite of his speech problem. He used Rahab, a prostitute, to protect the Israelite spies. He used Paul, who once persecuted Christians, to be a fervent messenger of the Gospel. These were all imperfect vessels that God used, just as we are. May we also remember the all-surpassing power of the life of Christ that we are blessed to carry. 

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