It is often misleading to walk on the earth. We build our lives, our families, our careers, and our hopes and dreams; somehow believing we have control or mastery over life. The truth is that these lives we lead are as fragile as jars of clay. We were cleaning our garage this weekend, and in the organizing found a box of Frankoma mugs. Those mugs were originally purchased by my wife’s mom ad have stood the test of time for over 70 years. Still, one errant slip and that beautiful pottery would crash and crumble into a pile of shards.
Paul is reminding the Corinthians we house the treasure of God’s Spirit in these jars of clay we call human bodies. Even those that are fine China, beautiful and unique, will easily crumble into shards over time. Still the life within, that which we have been given by the Father, is the true treasure and will last forever. These sad little jars of clay, after all, were never made to last for eternity.
When we add the trials, temptations, and wear and tear, our bodies fail us in many ways. We cannot withstand the cultural attacks, the calls of our human nature, and the pressures of life. The result is a dinged-up, beat-up and tired out body. Still, in the midst of these jars of clay, lives a child of God. Our Father loves us, and He gives us salvation through Jesus to make sure our treasured lives would be in relationship with Him for now and forever.
In that, we can take hope when we feel those pains and pulls of age and wear. We can march forward; all be it a little more slowly. We can stand tall, (with a bit of a groan) knowing that within us is a treasure of undeterminable value that will last in peace for all eternity.
God Bless You
Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. 2 Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,”[a] made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.
7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.