The First 15

Monday August 10, 2020

by First Methodist Mansfield

God is Reshaping Us


Jeremiah 18:1-6

1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
5 Then the word of the Lord came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the Lord. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.


The prophet Jeremiah began his ministry in about 626 b.c., during the reign of King Josiah. King Josiah had rediscovered the scroll of Teaching, or in Hebrew, Torah. This was the Law of God as revealed to Moses, the first five books of the Old Testament, and it had sadly been overlooked and forgotten by the people of Israel for hundreds of years. King Josiah, once again, shared God’s teaching with the people and worked to reform their worship practices, calling them to turn away from pagan worship and wholeheartedly return to God.

Jeremiah, the prophet, also longed for his people to return to God. In today’s passage, Jeremiah senses the Lord directing him to go to the house of a potter and wait there for a message. Jeremiah doesn’t ignore or question this nudge. He just goes with anticipation and watches the potter at work, shaping and forming a pot. He makes himself available, open to hear whatever the Lord would reveal to him there.

The work of an accomplished potter is awe-inspiring. A formless lump of wet clay, in the hands of the potter, can miraculously be shaped into a useful vessel. If the vessel becomes a bit off-center, the potter’s hands artfully begin to reshape it.

The Lord faithfully and creatively provides a revelation to Jeremiah about the nation of Israel. Like the potter, God is shaping and reshaping each nation and each community of faith in God’s wise, just, merciful and creative hands. God does not give up on us or leave us in our brokenness.

  • Have you ever sensed God nudging you to go to a specific place to be still and just watch and listen?
  • What did God reveal to you through that experience?

Prayer for Today

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
All I have and call my own.
You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.
Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me. Amen.

— Saint Ignatius of Loyola, 1491-1556

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