Pottery is believed to be one of the earliest inventions of humanity, and for those who have never taken a pottery class in school, making a clay pot or any ceramic vessel requires time and patience. You start by mixing your materials, molding the mixture to the desired shape, and then putting your creation in an oven so that it bakes and hardens after it cools. The end product can take a multitude of shapes and can be used for various purposes.
Humanity has made clay pots for everything under the sun and, throughout history, has used pottery as a vessel for expressing the deep mysteries of the human soul. From the beautifully detailed pottery of the Greeks depicting the vastness of their mythologies to the Japanese format of repairing broken pots with precious metals such as gold and silver, pottery has been a central part of our collective history. And in Sunday’s scripture, we see Paul utilizing that same motif as a way to describe the life of a first-century Christian in the Roman city of Corinth, which is not so different from our lives today.
In his second letter to the church of Corinth, Paul writes that we are like unadorned clay pots in a world consumed with darkness and blinded by the gods of their own creation. Our designs are plain and simple. Some of us have many cracks, and others have holes in them and are skipped over for those fancy pots with cool designs. But Paul reminds us that this is the very meaning of the Christian life, for, in our brokenness, we will shine the light of Christ to all who wish to turn away from darkness and step into God’s eternal love.
It is okay to have cracks and love them fully. To have holes and not try to hide them from others. That is what life is. What makes us different is that we embrace and are not afraid of all that life throws at us, for any situation that might seek to break us can be transformed through Christ into ultimate possibility. So, when you look into the mirror today, be kind to yourself and know that those cracks deep inside your soul are just tiny windows into your authentic self.
So, say we all. Amen!