Being Molded by God


altar potterEverything went together yesterday, Sunday September 4, to tell a salvation story, that if we make a habit of looking for God, even if we do wrong, God will reshape us. The text from the lectionary was Jeremiah: 18: 1-22,  ‘At The Potter’s House.” Beautiful pots and vases, made by our music director Hyosang Park,  were arranged on the altar.

As Malisa Langdon said, at Children’s Time, all of the pots and bowls are different. We are all made differently, and God works with each of us as individuals.  She told of a failed knitting project that she put on a shelf. In contrast, a potter can take a failed pot, turn it back into a lump of clay, and reshape it.

That’s what God does, said Rev, Jana Purkis-Brash in her sermon “Being Molded by God.” It may take a long time to find directions to “the Potter’s House,” but (paraphrasing) the Creator who made us can take our mistakes and our guilt and reshape us into whole and healthy disciples of Christ. We’re not good at waiting and yielding but here are clues:

  1. Learn the right address, where we are permitted to be works in progress.
  2. Make the right turn, repeatedly. Jeremiah uses language of turning and changing.
  3. Allow the potter to work with your clay as the potter chooses.

The ‘pickup choir,’ directed by Hyosang Park, sang “The Image of God” by Craig Courtney, reminding us that we are all created in God’s image, “uniquely gifted for His own plan and purpose.”

After the service of Holy Communion, and rousing choruses of “Since Jesus Came Into My Heart,” (Gaither version here), we gathered in Fellowship Hall for Summermikaela Sharing, where Mikaela Langdon, a senior at Rowan University,  told of her mission trip to Hawaii and how God changed her while she was there. What she learned about how to witness for Christ is valuable for how PUMC is thinking about reaching out to passersby on Nassau Street.

What she learned: don’t pass out things, instead let the people come to you. Invite them to take a survey. Arrange some kind of display that attracts their attention. The goal is to start a conversation so that they think about God. Let God help them find the Potter’s House.