Cracked Pots

Posted: July 6, 2014 in religious


From the beginning of His ministry, Jesus surrounded himself with very ordinary, flawed people, even the twelve disciples he chose to be His closest followers. None of them were from the religious establishment or from positions of power and influence. They came from a variety of questionable or common backgrounds. One was a former anti-Roman zealot, one was a tax collector for Rome (viewed by most as a traitor to the Jews), at least 4 were fishermen and the rest were probably tradesmen or farmers. In his book “Twelve Ordinary Men”, John MacArthur says, “the Twelve were personally selected and called by Christ. He knew them as only their Creator could know them. In other words, he knew all their faults long before He chose them. He even knew Judas would betray Him, and yet He chose the traitor anyway.” Think of what this means – the responsibility of beginning the church and spreading of the Gospel was placed in the hands of 12 very ordinary, imperfect people … people just like you and me.

One of the cruelest tricks of the devil is that he cripples us with our own fears. He knows where we are vulnerable and uses our insecurities to keep us from stepping out for God. How many of us have heard God calling us to something and responded with “Who … me? I’m not good enough.” We see others around us who are far more qualified than we are. All we see in ourselves are the weaknesses.

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on an end of a pole which he carried across his shoulders. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?” “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts.” the pot said. The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.” Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it up a little. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the Pot apologized to the bearer for its failure. The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

According to the United Methodist Church Book of Discipline, “the mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs.” God knows our weaknesses and our strengths; our failures and our successes; our shortcomings and our potential. He knows we aren’t perfect, but he has a plan for us. We have a job to do here in Erin and Sullivanville. God has amazing plans for this community and guess what? We’re it … it is up to us to be His hands and His feet, to bring the gospel to our neighbors. The good news is that God isn’t looking for perfect people do to His work. God’s story is filled with imperfect people … people just like us. Each of us has our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, if we say, “Yes” instead of “Who … me?” the Lord will use our flaws to grace our master’s table.

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