Jeremiah’s metaphor of a potter dealing with clay is a sharp needle into the balloon of Israel’s complacency. When you consider yourself to be God’s chosen people, the temptation is to feel impregnable. “God can do what any potter does,” warns Jeremiah, “He can change his mind, discard, reshape, start over. So don’t mindlessly go your own way thinking nothing bad can happen to you because you are God’s people.”
A healthy confidence in God can look an awful lot like complacency-“I am a Christian, a child of God. I put my trust in God,”- while feeling superior to others who may not wear that label. What is needed is a moral test, an examination of not just who I am, but what I do.
The potter and pot metaphor breaks down here for, unlike the clay, we are responsible for the shape of our lives. Confidence tempered by humility is the balance we seek.
O God of my past and future, give me courage to be honest with myself. Amen. — GHN