Old clay — new pots
Jeremiah 18: 1-6 (NRSV)
1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. 4 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.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 6 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.
You shaped me, O God, and you formed me
like a tender potter at her wheel you caressed me into being,
your creative Spirit channelled into my very soul.
Yet, sometimes I don’t want to be the way you moulded me,
I want to be more like someone else,
do something else;
I change my make-up—
I warp your good intentions
and distort what you fashioned well,
I become almost unrecognisable,
even to myself.
At such times, it is you, my Creator alone,
who still sees me as who I am and to whom I belong,
who sees me as I could be;
Reach out your hands and wrap your gentle fingers around me,
teasing out the bits that have gone hard
reshaping the clay I have distorted,
so I might sit in harmony with myself once again,
ready and able to fulfil my purpose in your world.
Shape me, O Lord, to work for your Kingdom,
form me, O God, in your image.