The Message in Clay Pots

The Message in Clay Pots
Summer had just begun and on my patio there was an assortment of blooming plants – all of them glorious and colorful with the blossoms tumbling over the sides of their pots. The perfect flowers were in stark contrast to the pots they lived in. The containers of the healthiest plants were very plain--even drab. The simple clay pots were old and worn. With years of use, the pots had become stained and chipped, but the flowers planted in them each successive year seemed to thrive even more.

There have been years when I’ve tried planting my flowers in new decorative planters. I’ve found elegantly designed ceramic and glass containers in which to start my flower garden. However those years my flowers turned out to be less than spectacular. Not receiving the aeration and drainage they required, the plants struggled. Still it didn’t really matter because the pots were beautiful to look at. Visitors admired the attractive design of the containers and seemed not to notice the puny blooms within.

Sharing the gospel can be compared to my efforts at container gardening. Just as simple, fragile clay pots produce the best flowers, a simple, humble believer is the best container for the truth of the gospel. The message of Jesus Christ is glorious in itself. It is eternal. It is salvation. It is life changing. Believers certainly don’t need to dress up the message. God doesn’t need beautiful containers, fancy dress or practiced speeches to sell His message of life. Simple heart felt truth produces glorious results. He uses normal people like you and me. Many times we try to clean up the vessel. All this does is to detract from the all important message. While I’m focusing on myself, the message will be puny. As much as I would like to hide the soiled and chipped person that I am without Jesus, that is my testimony. It is in that fallen person that the seed of the gospel was planted, took hold and began to grow. It is in that sad life that a miracle bloomed.

Don’t misunderstand. I believe that beautiful churches, lovely music, great speakers have their place in worship and in teaching. Many have made a decision to receive Christ in just such a setting. But the individual believer who is humble and truthful delivers the message best. Share your own simple story, truthfully and lovingly. The resulting blooms may be far more glorious that any ornate, stained glass window.

2 Corinthians 4:7 tells us that we have our treasure in jars of clay to show that the power belongs to Jesus, not to us.

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