Vessels Of Clay

Sunday, April 6, 2003

2 Corinthians 4:7 – But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (NIV)

One day I decided to have some kippers — smoked herrings. I cooked them in the microwave, then ate them with satisfaction, and washed up.

I had made the kitchen smell of smoked fish, so I decided to put a little surface cleaner with some water in a mug and heat this up in the microwave to kill the smell. The aroma of disinfectant filled the kitchen and loosened the accumulated debris on the inside of the microwave.

"Good!" I thought, as I sponged down the interior. "All done. No more bacteria or fish-smelling kitchen for my wife to come home to. No smoke-flavoured custard or drink later!"

It was then that I turned my attention to the mug. After I had poured the water away, I noticed that the mug was as clean as a whistle inside. The action of the steam, the microwaves, and the chemicals had made such a good a job of it, that I was prompted to rub it with my finger to see if it had etched the ceramic glaze! No, it was just fine and perfectly clean — up to where the water mixture had been, anyway! All the tea stain was gone.

This was a beneficial by-product of the work of the steam and cleaner working together to clean the cooker. I had intended it to clean the microwave, and, unasked for, it had cleaned the cup as well!

This thought came to mind: "Sometimes we can be like the mug!"

Without noticing, we can become stained by the world, and by the worldliness of our attitudes in the service of others. However, as we seek to serve our Master, bringing His power into many and varied daily situations of word and action, we become His temporal vessels, and are cleansed by His presence too! Praise be to God for His mercies!

Prayer: Lord, forgive us when we become stained and tarnished, dirtied by the world, and by our failures. Grant once more that You would purify us, and make us fitting vessels for Your awesome presence within us, to be effective in Your service once more today. May we carry Your praises with us. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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