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A tatty old clay pot

Cross thoughts: Christian ideas seen in Sudanese every day life.

“We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us”. 2 Corinthians 4:7.

Clay pots get a lot of use throughout Sudan and South Sudan. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are ornately decorated, others plain and simple. Uses vary from keeping water cool and clean, to container-­growing flowers or food in soil.

Paul urges the Christians in Corinth not to worry about the hardships they face nor the hard times they are living in. His own physical conditions were so bad they made him want to be in heaven rather than remain on earth,

2 Corinthians 5:7-­9. (I know that feeling!).

He writes from chapter 3:7 to 5:11 about the glory of the Christian message (find it some 16 times in this passage).

Messengers may show wear & tear, but the gospel message still shines clear – just like cool refreshing water can even come from a tatty old clay pot.

All true Christians are being gradually changed, becoming more and more like the Lord Jesus, 3:18.

The treasured ministry Christians have is enough to make us persevere through the toughest times, 4:1,7.

Solid Christians share a simple and straightforward gospel message, without twisting it to make it appeal any more to people. They need it as it truly is, 4:2-­‐3.

Dark spiritual forces close minds to the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. By us sharing our good news with those who will listen, God miraculously opens eyes, making hearts that can see, 4:3-­‐6.

Only Christians have “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of (Jesus) Christ”, 4:6.

As long as we stay useful to our Master, He will use us. No matter our outward appearance, God knows the people He can safely trust with His work. Christ’s life comes into our mortal bodies, 4:10-­‐11.

Water pots like those above are a common sight. People trying to merit their salvation by works of charity put some out. Christians know this is not necessary. Jesus’ meritorious work is more than enough for our salvation.

Going about your daily tasks, when you see clay pots, remember the text above. A clear gospel message can come powerfully from the oldest and the ugliest Christian witness!

God will do it.

September 2012.


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