THE POTTERY SHOP
Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
My dear encountered couples:
I probably talk about this every time this passage is among our readings. It’s too good to pass up. For it goes far in solving a problem that often perplexes us. Why can’t our lives run smoothly? Things go well for a while, then something happens that causes us grief and frustration. Why? The reading from the prophet Jeremiah contains a clue for us. The world is like a pottery shop. And as long as we are in this pottery shop, we are like a piece of pottery always in the making.
“’Rise up,’ God told Jeremiah, ‘be off to the potter’s house; there I will give you my message.’ I went down to the potter’s house and there he was, working at the wheel. Whenever the object of clay which he was making turned out badly in his hand, he tried again, making of the clay another object of whatever sort he pleased. ‘Can I not do to you, house of Israel,’ questioned God, ‘as this potter has done? Indeed, like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.’” And so are we in God’s hand!
God is trying to make something worthwhile out of us. He has an exact picture in his mind of how he wants us to turn out. When we don’t cooperate, and thereby begin to become something other than he wants, he stops us in our tracks by a sickness, an accident, an unpleasant happening, and tries again to form us into the image he intends for us.
God, the potterer, is trying to form us into the image of his Son, while we the pottery clay often attempt to form ourselves into something else. Is that not why our lives seldom run smoothly? Is that not why we experience pain and unhappiness? Forming us into the image of Jesus is difficult but necessary, and this is why we have a faith community to lean into, to listen to and learn from, to strive to be better for each other, together.
Let us allow God to accomplish his goal for us before we leave this pottery shop. Our vessel is being reshaped, reworked, reformed. Let us pray in hope for who we will become. Sure, would hate to spend an eternity unfinished.