(Everyone: Hello Doug.)
What a beautiful community the church is. It is a community of people from all walks of life, all kinds of backgrounds and upbringing. The church is full of people that are colorful and carry with them amazing stories of life. We all are different and diverse yet we are called to be together and hold things in common. A common love for God. A common desire to live in relationship with Jesus. A common love for one another. And a common brokenness.
Each one of us are cracked pots. Paul says,"that we hold this treasure in jars of clay." The treasure is Christ. It is the Holy Spirit that dwells, and lives in each of us. We are all clay pots holding the most beautiful, powerful, life changing, treasure within us. This image that Paul uses is a wonderful image to me. I am a real visual person, so I can see this pot, with cracks in it and through the cracks shines the brightest light. You see if not for the cracks and the brokenness, then the light is hidden within the pot. It is through that brokenness and through the cracks that the power and the treasure is seen.
We are all cracked, all broken, all of us needing the light and the love of Christ to shine in our lives. I think that it helps us to focus on those things that we hold in common, rather than our differences. We need to celebrate our differences as a wonderful and marvelous thing. And we need to remember what makes us one in community. Our common love for God, our desire to live in relationship with Jesus, and the treasure that is inside each and every one of the cracked pots. When we do this we become less judgemental, less selfish, and more loving. It is hard to hate someone or cast judgment on someone when you understand that God loves them in their brokenness the same as he loves you and me in ours. We are all broken. It is hard to hate or judge when we recognize that others are made in the image of God.
We need to look for the light that shines through the cracks. We need to focus on the light and not the brokenness. Try it today. If there is someone that you are having difficulty with first understand that you share a common brokenness and a common need for God. Try to see them as someone who Jesus loves enough that he died for them and understand that God calls us to love them in the same way. look for the light that is shining through. Look for Jesus. They are created in the image of God. See the beauty that there is in the family of God.
In Christ's love and mine,