Monday, August 02, 2010

Cracked Pots

Keith Tonkel's sermon yesterday at Wells United Methodist Church in Jackson, Mississippi was entitled Cracked Pots, and it was based on this old story:

Scripture for yesterday's sermon:

Isaiah 40:29
God gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might, he increases strength.

I Corinthians 1:27
But God has chosen the foolish things of the world, to put to shame the wise, and has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the mighty...

2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, and my strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Hebrews 5:2
He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.

Today’s Psalms 6:1-4 (Revised)
Lord, do not rebuke us in your anger,
Or chasten us with your displeasure.
Have mercy on us, O Lord, for we are weak;
heal us, for our body and soul is deeply troubled.
Return, O Lord, deliver us.
Oh save us for your mercies’ sake!

The Sunday bulletin for this service had Keith's usual brief prose as follows concerning the scriptures:
Cracked Pots

Went to school with a guy who often referred to ‘crack-pots’. In those days, it was about folks with strange and crazy ideas or practices. Today such talk may mean a lot more!

An important teacher used to say: “We are leaky vessels for God’s truth and work to ride in, but we are God’s vessels.”

When speaking of real Christians, we can create the idea that such persons have got it made. They have ‘arrived’ and are capable of doing all things well. In fact, there are almost no such believers. Think of the stories of God’s calls: Moses who said he couldn’t speak well, Abraham who got a big laugh when told that he and Sarah were having a baby at their age; all who Jesus asked to come with him, who made (make up!) up one excuse after the other.

God chooses the weak to do strong work. He gives power to those who have none, and increases might equivaliant for the work needed. Who would have thought that twelve disciples could have done so much and changed so many. They became the fore runners of a new history.

No one is weak to be weak. In our weakness, we learn compassion for the ignorance and sins of others. To know our weakness is to call on God’s strength to build our own. It’s clear: The proud and strong rely on themselves and need no others. The weak see their strengths and limitations at the same time, and learn that the grace of God is the only sufficient resource for positive and Christlike living.

Some crackpots might surprise you. Crackpots like you and me. We could become a means of doing something good, lasting, and beautiful for God and for others.

Imagine leaky vessels being so effective and at the same time leaving a legacy to bless generations to come.

Note: These short devotional-type writings are gathered together in a book to be published in the future by Keith ~ GodStuff

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