A friend of mine is a potter. Dawn can take a lump of clay and make it into something amazing. The clay spins on a wheel, while she shapes it into something beautiful and useful. However, there are times when she will stop, take a cup or a bowl or a pot from the wheel, and start all over. She kneads the clay back into a solid lump, puts it back onto the wheel, and begins again. Another shape emerges . . . another beautiful and useful piece . . . re – formed from the same lump of clay.
We celebrated Reformation Sunday two days ago, and Reformation Day comes on Thursday. This week, we remember Martin Luther and his work to reshape how the people of God understood who God is, and how we relate to God. They pointed out that God is all about love and forgiveness, and invites us to live that way, too. Through Luther and others, God re–formed the church, and in many ways, the world.
Reform is part of our religious history, and reform is also part of our own lives. Time and transitions, obstacles and milestones, challenges and successes all play a role in making us over, forming us into new and different people, all from the same lump of clay.
There are some things in common between clay on a potter’s wheel, the church through the ages, and our own lives. Change is on-going. Transition points are uncertain, where one form is gone and the next hasn’t taken shape yet. There are faithful hands who help give shape. The clay is pretty tough. Whatever is finally formed will be amazing, beautiful and useful.
This week of Reformation, remember that God re-forms, not just in the church and the world, but also in our lives. We are shaped again by the loving, faithful hands of God. Re-formed from the same lump of clay.
Though I sometimes feel like a useless lump of clay, remind me that you are shaping me into something amazing.
Form me into someone who lives a life of love and forgiveness, sharing your compassion and mercy with the people I encounter.
Form me into someone who notices the needs around me, and responds to them.
Form me into someone who reaches beyond boundaries and bias, to include the outsider.
Form me into someone who serves the world and my neighbor with the gifts and abilities I have.