Friday, April 24, 2009

Just a Clay Pot

This past weekend, the worship department hosted our Shoreline East outreach service. I love being a part of this, every 3rd Saturday of the month, and have the honor of coordinating the service. I have also been leading worship which is totally stretching and challenging me. I think about this service all month and plan the worship set-list weeks in advance...its funny. I kind of accidentally happened upon this responsibility, just trying to lift the burden off someone else's already full plate, and never intending to have the worship leader spot but now I really love it! However, I was so frustrated this last week because something blew in on the Tuesday before and my allergies have been nuts...drippy eyes, stuffy nose, scratchy throat. Grrrrrrr. I really want to do a good job, but I sound horrible and even with my ears stopped up...I can tell it's bad....

And the raw, honest, truth is that I really want to sound good! I want people to be lifted and encouraged, I pray that God's presence will wash over every person in the parking lot....but part of me really cares about how I sound...and I'm bummed....

Fortunately for me I am reading a good book that spoke the truth of God's word into my funk.....Glenn Packiam in Butterfly in Brazil said this: "God doesn't need me to be supernatural or mystical; that's what he is. He needs us to be human, common and earthy. We are the vessels of clay; he is the exceedingly great treasure."

So that took me to 2 Corinthians 4 Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart.....this is not a self-promotion opportunity for me, or a stepping stone to some larger, or prettier group of folks...I believe I am in this place because of God's mercy. So I can't lose heart. If God placed me here then I have to trust Him to carry me!

The passage goes on to say The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness,"made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. The word glory stood out to me in these verses....the gospel of the GLORY of Christ...the knowledge of the GLORY of God...and in both cases that word is followed by a tiny little preposition - OF. The Glory OF Christ....the Glory OF God. I want to be glorious. I do. But there is no glory in me....there is only the glory OF my Lord. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. I am just a clay pot...God is the glorious treasure.

I have a dear friend who always ends her prayers with this thought "And we will be careful to give You all the glory" I've heard her pray that way for years but today it just hit me...I'm not sure we're even aware of all the times we are hoping for a little bit of glory for ourselves. Jesus, forgive me!

In the end and Shoreline East was lovely, God's presence felt so sweet to me. I really am just awed that God is OK with my tragically flawed clay pot. I spend too much time wishing I had someone else's pot...God wants to express a unique facet of his glory through mine....

I need to put more faith in his ability, his desire to flow through me, to reach the people he loves....than in my ability to do a good job.

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