Today's reading: 2 Corinthians 4- 6
But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. 2 Cor. 4: 7 NRSV
There is a community near where I live called "Clay." Folks around there aren't positive how the town got its name. One story is that someone asked a founder what they were going to call it and they happened to be standing near where some clay had been dug into to set a foundation for a building. The person looked at the clay and said, "Clay."
Clay is really not very impressive. It can be pretty hard when the ground is dry and not much really wants to grow in it. Certainly using it for pottery is probably one of man's highest creative use of a natural product. I must admit I don't see any pottery for sale in the Clay area. Mostly folks just try to move it aside for more important things: houses, ball fields, interstates.
If you have a jar made of clay, you have something useful but not particularly precious. It does what it needs to do but is easily broken and quickly discarded. The important thing is not the jar but what it holds.
And that is what Paul is saying. He says that he himself is not the important thing but the treasure or message he shares.
Oh that we could all see ourselves as clay jars!
God, you have given each of us a beautiful treasure. And here we are with our clay jars thinking we ourselves are the important treasure. Open us, break us and help us see what is inside. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims