The first lectionary reading for today is quite familiar to me, more from liturgical music than from the text of Jeremiah the prophet (18: 1-6). We sing: “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are we to you, O God…” (That may not be an exact rendition, but I know I have the tune right!) Most familiar to most younger churchgoers of the 1970s is Carey Landry’s song, Abba, Father, attesting that “You (God) are the Potter, we are the clay: the work of your hands…”
Watching a potter at the wheel can be fascinating but I have learned (only from watching, of course) that it is not as smooth or easy as it seems. And, having endured workshops where the goal was creating something out of quick-drying clay, I know that it is more difficult for most of us than we would care to admit. So I have to give God a lot of credit today for the willingness to form us all—especially uniquely—into the works of art that we become once we let go of the hard edges and rigidity of thought that keep us as “works in process.” While God may feel a need to re-form us on occasion, I am ever grateful for the patience that stops the Creator from smashing us in frustration and I trust implicitly that “the kindness of the Lord endures forever,” no matter how long it takes for us to allow the creation.