Formed By God

Sunday, September 8

9-8By Becky Savage, First Presidency

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? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.        

—Jeremiah 18:4–6

It is captivating to watch an artist take a lump of clay and form it into a beautiful vessel. How do the steps of throwing a clay pot reflect God forming us? First, the artist wedges or kneads two clumps of clay together to remove air pockets. Air bubbles may cause the vessel to blow up in the kiln. “Unity in Diversity” is one of our enduring principles. When we talk together we can remove misunderstandings that separate us.

Next the artist centers the clay on the wheel. The artist wraps wet hands around the clay. This step requires a firm hold, focus, and stillness. This quiet step is essential or the clay loses its foundation and shape. Be still and know that I am God. We are at our best when we spend quiet, focused time with God. This time may include studying scriptures, meditation, prayer, or other spiritual disciplines. When we skip this spiritual connection, our lives are more easily misshaped.

Water is essential for molding clay. The artist uses wet hands to smooth, shape, and remold the clay. The waters of baptism cleanse us. We remember and renew our baptismal commitment during the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

To form the vessel the artist pulls the clay upward into a cylinder. The cylinder has both form and space. The artist then forms the cylinder into a new shape. The walls offer form and stability. Then the potter opens the form into a useful, shapely vessel. God forms each of us to be unique. We choose how our lives reflect God’s grace and generosity. How is God forming your life? Is there space for God’s Spirit? Will you receive and respond faithfully?

Prayer for Peace
Molder and Shaper of the Universe, we are yours to do with as you will. May we respond to your creative touch with grace. May we be vessels accepting of your Spirit and willing to carry and share the peace of Christ.

Spiritual Practice: Vessel for Living Water
Visualize or feel a vessel at the center of your being (a clay jar, a crystal vase, a metal bucket, or other container).  Imagine drawing something from the bucket to share with someone, but as you reach inside you find only a tiny pool of stagnant liquid. You are thirsty, dry, empty. Then something clear and cool begins to pour over you. It splashes and tumbles into the vessel, filling it to the brim. The living water of Christ pours on and in you. Your vessel fills and runs over, blessing your body and soul. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving and commitment to share living water with others.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will not shrink from Christ’s mission, or swell with pride. I will hold the shape you envision for me.

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