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In the potter’s hand

In the potter’s hand

Something to read

I will again do amazing things with this people, shocking and amazing… You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay? Shall the thing made say of its maker, ‘He did not make me’; or the thing formed say of the one who formed it, ‘He has no understanding’?

- Isaiah 29:14a, 16.

Something to think about

The biblical creation narratives are distinctive among other ancient stories about the world’s beginning. One distinguishing feature is the insistence in Genesis, and also in prophets such as Isaiah, that there is a fundamental difference between Creator and Creation. God is intimately present in and with his creation, but God is not us and we are not God. 

As Isaiah continues to condemn the people’s complacency (see yesterday’s reading), he points out how they’ve got the relationship between themselves and God the wrong way around. Proud people believe they can pull the wool over God’s eyes, living lives of selfishness and violence while proclaiming to worship the God of justice and mercy. So Isaiah reminds them, we can’t outwit or surprise God – our Creator sees and understand our hearts as well as our actions. Moreover, God is the one who can amaze us with events and wonders that we can’t understand!

Being reminded of our humanity before God can feel uncomfortable, especially when we’ve been living as if we were our own ‘potter’, rather than God’s work of art. But it can also be liberating, as we let go of the pressure to be in charge and in control, and instead embrace the joy of being God’s deeply loved child and creation.

Something to do

Make something creative – it could be junk modelling with materials sourced from your recycling bags, or using clay, paper, or something completely different! Use the process to help you reflect on Isaiah’s metaphor.

Something to pray

Creator God, thank you that you made us with love, as your masterpieces. Help me to lay aside the desire to be in charge and do things my way, and be ready to live according to your ways, with justice, mercy and peace. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones