I love the image of God as a potter and we as clay creations. Perhaps this is because my mother worked as a potter for part of my growing up. I watched her spinning clay on a wheel, centring it and pulling it up and down, shaping it until it met the image she was thinking of. I like the idea that we are made in God’s image, not that we look like God, but that God has an image in God’s mind for each of us, uniquely different, each designed for a different purpose and fashioned accordingly, like a potter turns a bowl and a pitcher from the same clay on the same wheel. As today’s Psalmist says, we are fearfully and wonderfully made right from our very beginnings. And it’s not just us – each living thing on earth is made in an image of God’s design, sacred and holy.
Another thing I like about Jeremiah’s idea that God is like a potter and we, the clay, is the fact that clay is messy. It slaps and splatters around the wheel. When you work with clay, not only do your hands get messy, but the clay works it’s way all the way up your arms and across your clothes. I remember my mother’s glasses getting speckled, along with her hair. Being human is a messy business. Like clay, we don’t always go where the potter wants us right away. We resist being centred. We’re flexible like clay, but we’re also susceptible to bad influences. We wobble and collapse and need to be built back up again. But the good news is that we can be reshaped when things have gone wrong. We can be brought back to the image that God has in »»