Jeremiah 18. 1 – 11, is, a strong metaphor for Lent, especially verses 6 and 11: “6Can 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…. 11Now, therefore, say to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Thus, says the Lord: Look, I am a potter shaping evil against you and devising a plan against you. Turn now, all of you from your evil way, and amend your ways and your doings.”
Today’s Lenten devotion from Elizabeth Nix notes: “… what a message of hope it is during this time of Lent! Just like this clay in the potter’s hand, we get a re-do, a new chance, the opportunity to start all over in our efforts! The clay remains the clay, with all the same qualities, but is re-shaped into something new.”
The faulty shape is to conform or believe that this world knows what shape we should take rather than the shape God has in mind. God’s shape for us is to Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.” (Deuteronomy, Joshua, Matthew, Mark and Luke)
We hold onto worldly promises, if we do all these things in the “right” socially approved rules we will win and our lives will be perfect. However, God calls to Israel and Paul tells the Romans (Romans 12.2) “Do not be conformed to this world.”
It is God’s laws and commandments we are meant to follow, yet time and again we fall to the call of money, power, and cultural approval. We are told that those without, are worthless but God says (Luke 15) all people are worth seeking and even carrying. We are told God gave us dominion over the earth and all things in it so we will make more money, that we must love money, yet God says (1 Timothy 6.10) that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
We want to be powerful and successful even though we are called to be servants. We follow the Son of God who reminded his disciples that we are to clean one another’s feet (John 15).
Like the clay on a wheel, we often take a wrong shape yet there is time to be made a new Godly shape. If we but repent and follow God’s laws, loving and serving the Lord by loving and serving our neighbors, there is time.