Sermon by Rev. Mary Fletcher for Parkview United Church, Nov. 26, 2017. Sermon: Meeting the King


Sunday November 26, 2017

Reign of Christ Sunday

Sermon: Meeting the King – Scripture: Matthew 25: 31 – 46

People love the idea of Royalty. Why do you suppose we give a royal person such admiration and adulation? The dictionary defines Royalty as: “The power, status, or authority of a monarch.” So, that means a royal person is someone with the power, status or authority of a royal person. That’s pretty straightforward. But why, other than that, would we treat a royal person with such adoration and special star appeal?

If the Queen of England came in the door of our church right now, what would we do? Would we simply hand her a bulletin and carry on as usual? Or would everything grind to a halt as we responded in shock? And then we would simply fawn over her every wish and desire! Queen Elizabeth did visit Washington USA during George Bush’s presidency, and while there, she visited a lady Alice Frazier in her home. Now protocol states that you mustn’t touch the Queen, but Alice wasn’t told, and she gave the Queen a hug! It made headlines around the world. Alice was so delighted that the Queen had come to visit her that she responded in the warmest most hospitable way she could.

Today is known as The Reign of Christ Sunday, or Christ the King Sunday. This is a celebration which was first chosen by Pope Pius XI as a time to celebrate the end of the Church year. He felt that the world needed to remember that we live in the reign of Christ. Jesus is the King above all kings. So, back in 1925, the Catholic Church adopted this day to honour the Royalty of Jesus. Over the decades, many other churches, including the Anglicans, Lutherans, and our own United Church, have also added this Reign of Christ Sunday to the church year calendar. The beginning of our church year starts next Sunday with Advent, but today, we celebrate and honour Jesus in his rightful position as our true King.

What do you think would happen if this King came in here to our church today? Would we stand back in awe – or would we give him a hug? Of course, we believe that Jesus is here. He told us: “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I also.” He is here in spirit. But what if he made a physical appearance? Would we give him a warm response like Alice? Would we be delighted to receive him?

Jesus gives us the parable about separating the sheep and the goats. The parable isn’t saying that sheep are better than goats, or goats better than sheep, but that they are separated into two groups. Why? What is the discerning factor? The one group follows the teachings and examples of Jesus, and the other group does not. Jesus our King judges and separates – those who follow and those who do not.

Love God with your whole heart, mind, soul and spirit,” says Jesus, and “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Jesus knows. He knows our actions and thoughts, our opinions and attitudes.

Have you ever made those judgments where you say: “That person isn’t worthy of help,” or “What will they do with the money I give them?” or “They deserve what they get!” If we are honest, we have to admit that we have all thought that way at times.

Mother Teresa wrote that she sought the face of God in everything, everyone, all the time, seeing and adoring the presence of Jesus, she said, especially in “the distressing disguise of the poor.” What an interesting thought. To see the appearance of a poor person as a disguise. Not their true self, just a face they have to wear because of the way the world has treated them.

There is a story about Saint Francis of Assisi. Young Francis was wealthy and high-born and high-spirited. He lived the good life, but he was not happy. He felt that his life was incomplete. Then one day he was out riding and met a leper, loathsome and repulsive in the ugliness of his disease. Something moved Francis to dismount and fling his arms around this wretched sufferer; and in his arms the face of the leper changed to the face of Christ.

Martin of Tours was a Roman soldier and a Christian. One cold winter day, as he was entering a city, a beggar stopped him and asked for alms. Martin had no money; but the beggar was blue and shivering with cold, and Martin gave what he had. He took off his soldier’s cloak, worn and frayed as it was; he cut it in two and gave half of it to the beggar man. That night he had a dream. In it he saw the heavenly places and all the angels and Jesus in the midst of them; and Jesus was wearing half of a Roman soldier’s cloak. One of the angels said to Jesus, “Master, why are you wearing that battered old cloak? Who gave it to you?” And Jesus answered softly, “My servant Martin gave it to me.”

I was sick and you stopped to visit. I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was shivering and you gave me clothes. Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me — you did it to me,” says Jesus.

We are standing in the presence of royalty all the time as Christians. We are standing before Jesus our King. Jesus has a vision for us. He hopes that we will act in our everyday lives as if we were always in his presence. He hopes we will do the things that will make him feel proud of us. Let’s honour Jesus our King. And let’s be counted in the group serving Him. Amen.

Sermon by Rev. Mary Fletcher for Parkview United Church, Nov. 19, 2017. Sermon: The Talents Given by God

parable of the talents
The Parable of the Talents
Scripture: Matthew 25: 14 – 30
Sermon: The Talents Given by God

Once there was a king who had three sons, each with a special
talent. The first had a talent for growing fruit. The second
for raising sheep. And the third for playing the violin.
The king had to go overseas on important business. Before
departing, he called his three sons together and told them he was
depending on them to keep the people contented in his absence.

Now for a while things went well. But then came the winter, a
bitter and cruel winter it was. There was an acute shortage of
firewood. Thus the first son was faced with a very difficult
decision. Should he allow the people to cut down some of his
beloved fruit trees for firewood? When he saw the people
shivering with cold, he finally allowed them to do so.

The second son was also faced with a difficult decision. Food
became very scarce. Should he allow the people to kill some of
his beloved sheep for food? When he saw the children crying for
hunger, his heart went out to them and he allowed them to kill
some of the sheep.

Thus the people had firewood for their fires, and food for their
tables. Nevertheless the harsh winter continued to oppress them.
Their spirits began to sag, and there was no one to cheer them
up. They turned to the fiddler, but he refused to play for them.
In the end things got so bad that in desperation many of them

Then one day the king arrived back home. He was terribly sad to
find that many of his people had left his kingdom. He called in
his three sons to give an account of what had gone wrong. The
first said, “Father, I hope you won’t be mad at me, but the
winter was very cold and so I allowed the people to cut down some
of the fruit trees for firewood.” And the second son said,
“Father, I hope you won’t be mad with me because when food got
scarce I allowed the people to kill some of my sheep.”

On hearing this, far from being angry, the father embraced his
two sons, and told them that he was proud of them.

Then the third son came forward carrying his fiddle with him.
“Father”, he said, “I refused to play because you weren’t here to
enjoy the music.”

“Well then”, said the king, “play me a tune now because my heart
is full of sorrow.” The son raised the violin and bow, but found
that his fingers had gone stiff from lack of exercise. No matter
how hard he tried, he could not get them to move. Then the
father said, “You could have cheered up the people with your
music, but you refused. If the kingdom is half-empty, the fault
is yours. But now you can no longer play. That will be your
punishment.” (author unknown)
In our Matthew parable this morning, Jesus tells the story of servants entrusted with talents. What was a talent? A talent was the largest unit of measurement of weight usually of precious metals – gold or silver. A talent was equal to about 75 pounds or 35 kilograms. One talent of gold or silver was worth a tremendous amount of money. In Jesus’ parable, the man entrusts his property, his wealth, with his servants. And this man is very rich! Can you imagine what 75 lbs of gold would cost today? And multiply this by 8 (5 talents + 2 + 1)! But Jesus’ parable about the talents offers us other interpretations other than money. What were the messages Jesus wanted us to glean?
Our attention is drawn to the useless servant who does nothing with his talent. He buries it in the ground in order that he might hand it back to his master intact exactly as it was. Jesus may be equating the useless servant with the Scribes and Pharisees in Jesus’ day whose whole aim was to keep the Law and their religious teachings and way of life exactly as it was. Any change, any development, any alteration, anything new was to them blasphemy. They were not open to any new Kingdom of God which Jesus preached. They opposed Jesus’ teachings and his actions, especially when he broke their laws on the Sabbath, and consequently, religious truths and Godly enlightenment and new learning fell on deaf ears. The Scribes and Pharisees paralyzed religious truth. Like the man with the one talent, they desired to keep things exactly as they were. 

 If we think of the talents as Godly-given abilities and potential, then what matters is how we use them. God gives us differing gifts or talents – in the parable, one man receives five talents, another two, and another one. It is not the number which matters – it is how each person uses his talent. God never demands from us abilities we haven’t got; but God does demand that we use to the full the abilities we possess. We are not all equal in talent – our gifts differ. But the parable says that we must put them to work, and whatever talents we have, little or great, we must lay them at the service of God. 

     The person who is punished in the parable is the servant who will not try. The man with the one talent did not lose his talent; he simply did nothing with it. Even if he had risked it and lost it, it would have been better than to do nothing at all. It is always a temptation for the one-talent person to say, “I have so small a talent, I can do so little with it, it is not worthwhile to even try, for what can I do?, what little contribution can I make?, it won’t make any difference at all.” But using your one talent, however small, will make a difference. The condemnation in the parable is for the person who will not try to use their talent, and risk using it!

The parable also tells us that the reward of work well done is still more work to do. The two servants who did well are not told to lean back and rest! They are given greater tasks and greater responsibilities. The Master trusts them with more. It doesn’t mean that the servants, or us, become over-burdened or over-worked – it means that God and the Spirit of Christ will work with our endeavours and our skills to bring about greater results. God will work with what we bring, and it grows with God’s power. God is able to do progressively more with our potential and endeavours.
The parable of Jesus tells us that to the person who has, who works, who is productive, more will be given, and the person who doesn’t try will lose even what he has. If we use the talents God has given us, God will progressively do more with them. The more we exercise our proficiency and our gifts, the more God blesses our talents and puts them to work! It is God’s Kingdom and the gospel of Jesus Christ which grows and prospers. Jesus, our Master, knows our potential, and he’s counting on us to work with Him to get the work done.

Meditation Time:


1. What are your abilities? What does God recognize in you that are your capabilities and skills?

2. Are you using them for God’s work?

3. What can you do to risk using your abilities in ways you haven’t tried before?

Sermon by Rev. Mary Fletcher for Parkview United Church, November 12, 2017. Sermon: We Re-Member


Sunday November 12, 2017 Remembrance Day Sunday

Sermon: We Re-Member

Scriptures: Matthew 5: 1 – 10, John 15: 9 – 15, 17

On Remembrance Day Sunday we choose to remember all the people who have died or been injured while serving to bring freedom and peace to our world. We here in Canada specifically remember the people who died and served in our Canadian Armed Forces. Someone once asked, after watching a Remembrance Day parade, why do they remember the dead soldiers? Don’t they want to forget all the horrors of war? It’s a natural human reaction to try to forget the unpleasant things we have to endure in life. But to remember war and the sacrifices of so many men and women, we keep at the front of our minds the realization that war cannot be entered into easily. We value life over death. We value freedom over repression. We honour and respect the losses that so many people have lived through in order to protect our way of life.

If you break up the word “remember,” we get: “Re-member.” This means to become a member once again, to be rejoined to something of which we are or were once a part. A family reunion is just that – “re-union” – we are reunited with one another. An Alumni serves the same purpose – a former group of students or club members stay reunited with one another. When we Christians observe the holy sacrament of communion, we unite as believers and we “re-member” as collectively the Body of Christ. When the men and women of the Royal Canadian Legion gather together, they become part of their larger whole as they unite in spirit with the invisible faces of the many friends and companions who didn’t make it back from the war. The veterans who continue to serve, and were fortunate enough to return from war, are reunited with those who did not. They re-member. They are rejoined.

Christianity is a religion of peace, so what do our scriptures have to say about war? The Old Testament is full of war stories – nation against nation, tribe against tribe, religion against religion. Just last Sunday, we told the story of the Israelite nation crossing the Jordan River to take over the land of Canaan, land promised to them by God, they said, their Promised Land, and they are ready for battle with an army of 40,000 we’re told in Joshua 4: 13. The Israelites drove out the peoples and nations in their way to take over these lands. A great deal of war, battles and fighting can be found in our scriptures. Does it make it right? War seems to be part of the human condition. We have never known our world history without it.

And yet, when we turn to the gospels, when we read the stories of Jesus and the early Christians in the New Testament, we see that peace becomes the goal, not war. Pray for your enemies, says Jesus. Love your enemies, says Jesus. Pray for those who persecute you, says Jesus. That’s not the usual way of the world. But this is the teaching of Jesus Christ.

We have read this morning Jesus’ famous sermon on blessings for all, his Sermon on the Mount, as it is called, his Beatitudes as we know it. Jesus blesses the poor in spirit, those who mourn, those who are meek, the merciful, and Jesus blesses the peacemakers. Jesus blesses those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, he says. Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself, says Jesus. “Father, forgive them,” says Jesus when he dies on the cross. Jesus followed the path of peace.

But sadly, two thousand years later since Christ walked our earth, we humans are still living in a world of conflict and war. There are times when there is really no alternative but to fight for what is right. We hope and pray for the day in our world when the sacrifices of men’s and women’s lives are no longer necessary. Our Canadian troops are hailed around the world as Peacekeepers, and what a wonderful way to describe what they are doing. When my husband Terry and I studied at the Atlantic School of Theology, we knew a fellow student who served as a chaplain to the Canadian Peacekeepers in Afghanistan. When asked what his most memorable incident was, he replied – the smiles of the schoolchildren as they received their new school desks donated by Canadians so that they could have a place to learn. Does that sound like war? It IS a war against ignorance and poverty. And that is a war that is right and good. When we fight or war against oppression, ignorance, poverty and those “poor in spirit,” we are bringing God’s kingdom and Christ’s peace to our neighbor and our world. Resisting evil and restoring goodness is the war we must fight.

This Remembrance Day Sunday, we honour and remember the many sacrifices made for the good of our countries and the welfare of our world. We gained the freedom to be our nation, to be who we are, our identity was kept intact, as well as our freedom of governance, speech and religion. We are grateful.

Let us remember Jesus Christ’s teachings to love one another and care for one another. May we always honour God in our lives, and be true and good citizens of God’s kingdom in our world. May we bring the peace Jesus wishes to bring: “Peace I leave with you,” he says, “my peace I give to you, I do not give to you as the world gives,” John 14:27. The peace Jesus brings to the world is a holy peace, a divine peace, a way to truly live with one another and be “re-membered” or united with Him. It is his power at work. May his Spirit reign in our hearts and minds. And may we be God’s soldiers to bring God’s goodness and Christ’s peace and love to our world. Amen.


Gracious God,

This Remembrance Day Sunday,

We remember those who kept the faith

in defending and preserving our nation’s freedom.

For their devotion to duty, for their willingness to endure hardships,

and especially, O God, for those who made the supreme sacrifice of their lives,

we give you thanks.

May we this day resolve that our faith to you and our service to our country is not in vain.

May we, as citizens of a nation founded upon faith in you, stand firm and united

to keep the peace and freedom which others have fought and won.

Lord, help us to always keep your world free from evil and corruption.

Help us to bring love and forgiveness where it is so badly needed.

Help us to bring tolerance, mercy and understanding to our world.

Help us to remember, Jesus, that we are a part of your body on earth,

that we are your hands and feet.

Bless our efforts, Gracious God, as fellow humans in our world,

to live together in peace and harmony.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Sermon by Rev. Mary Fletcher for Parkview United Church, November 5, 2017. Sermon: The Israelites Cross the Jordan River


The Israelites Cross the Jordan River – Scripture: Joshua 3

Sermon: Crossing Over

In our Joshua scripture reading this morning, we find the Israelite nation gathered together on the banks of the Jordan River getting ready to enter the Promised Land – the territory which God had ordained for them. It is 40 years since they left Egypt, the great exodus when Moses had come to Pharaoh demanding that he let God’s people go. When the Israelites finally did escape Egypt, they wandered in the Sinai desert for forty years, trekking through unknown territory, unknown paths, unknown terrain, unknown circumstances and the myriad unknown challenges each day would bring. But they were on the move. To a promised land of milk and honey. God made a covenant with Moses and the Israelite nation to bring them to this land. “I am the God of Abraham, of Isaac and of Jacob,” God told Moses, and the Israelite people trusted in this mighty, powerful and faithful God to lead them and show them the way.

Joshua chapter 3 is a momentous passage in our scriptures. Finally, after all these years, here they are. At the banks of the Jordan River, ready to cross over into their promised land, and we witness God’s providence at work to get them across. An entire nation – old and young, animals and provisions – the entire Israelite nation needs to get across that river. And, as usual, God works in the midst of what seems impossible to lead them. Two important things happen:

– first, God goes ahead of them as the Ark of the Covenant is carried into the river, the Ark signifying the Throne of God and God’s presence with them. God leads first.

– secondly, the priests enter the water in faith – they step into the flowing river in faith when God commands Joshua: “Tell the priests who carry the ark of the covenant: ‘When you reach the edge of the Jordan’s waters, go and stand in the river,’” Joshua 3: 8.

Faith in action. And when the priests’ feet enter the water, we’re told, the river stops flowing from upstream – the waters get banked up a distance away at a city called Adam, and the place where the Israelites are to cross becomes dry ground. The water in front of them rushes away downstream, no more water flows from upstream, and the riverbed before them becomes exposed. The riverbed becomes dry ground, as miraculously, the water coming from upstream is stopped.

Were the Israelites afraid as they crossed over? Did they worry if the waters would break and sweep them away? Were they filled with anxiety? Trepidation? But cross that riverbed they did, and what kept them going? Faith in action. God was in charge, God would lead, God would provide, and God would stay with them in the midst of chaos. The Ark of the Covenant stayed right in the middle of the river with the priests, while the nation crossed past them and over to safety on the other side. God stayed firmly in the middle of that riverbed, God didn’t leave them, and God stayed right in the midst of their worries and concerns. God was with them. They trusted in God’s covenant, they trusted in God’s relationship with them, and they focused on that Divine presence leading them and interacting with them.

We can get afraid of life’s challenges and the unknown, too, can’t we? We can feel like we’re trekking through a desert depending on what’s happening in our lives, perhaps within our own families, with our loved ones, our friends, within ourselves. We may think – where am I headed? Where is this path taking me? What is my future? Where is God in this? Is God there?

And metaphorically, we gather like the Israelites on the shore of the Jordan scared. Not knowing what lies ahead. Not knowing what step to take. The waters look like they’re going to drown us. Are we going to survive? Are we going to be swept away? What’s to become of us? Where are we going? But imagine, like the Israelites, that we are on the riverbank and we stop, standing still, listening for God’s direction, listening for God’s voice before we pick up and step into the unknown.

I’ll tell you where the promises of God are faithful and secure – we are a Covenant people just like the Israelites of old. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is with us, too. God loves us today as God’s people, God’s nation, and God made a covenant with us through Jesus Christ his Son. At the last supper, Jesus says: “This cup is the new covenant in my blood which is poured out for you,” Luke 22: 20. This is the new covenant and new relationship I will have with you, says Jesus – my Spirit will be with you now and always. I am with you, says Jesus. And when you believe in Jesus’ words that God is in him and he in God, then God is with us, and the Spirit of Christ is with us. We are a covenant people, and God is going to operate in the midst of our worries and concerns, in the midst of chaos, and in the midst of what seems impossible, when that “Jordan River” looks too treacherous and too difficult to cross. God will work God’s miracles when it is needed, when the time is right, and we are to step forward in faith like the priests stepping into that river. Believe that God is already there, God goes ahead of us, God will provide, even when we can’t see, and we – in faith – are to follow.

And if you say to me this morning, listen Mary, I can read about God’s miracles from long ago, but I have my doubts – did they really happen? I don’t know if God works miracles, then or now. How could the water in the Jordan River completely stop? Well, in 1927, a blockage of the Jordan River took place in the same area as recorded in our Joshua scripture, at Adam, twenty miles upriver from the place where the Israelites crossed over. It was a landslide, and the blockage lasted over 20 hours – almost a day. In our Joshua story, God caused something to happen to block the flow of the Jordan River, and the Israelites crossed over in one day because they camped on the other side that same night. God synchronized things to happen at the right time, in the right place, in the right order – the river gets dammed up, the waters back up, the downstream water flows away as the Israelite priests step into the river, the Israelites cross over, and as soon as the Ark and the priests step onto the riverbank on the other side, the waters of the Jordan River “returned to their place and ran at flood stage as before,” Joshua 4: 18.

God will work God’s miracles even when we can’t see them. God may be working a miracle in your life right now, and you may not be aware of it. You may never know. Sometimes we get a glimpse. Sometimes we know that God has worked miraculously in our life on our behalf. We know that it couldn’t have come about any other way. Believe me when I say that God loves you more than you will ever know. Believe me when I say that Jesus is the best friend you will ever have in your life. They want the best for you. And they will stand in the middle of the river of your life and safely guard you in the midst of chaos or turmoil or worry or whatever crisis presents itself. Ask God to intervene for you. All things are possible with God. God is at work in the midst of us, we God’s people. God said to Joshua: “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous…Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go,” Joshua 1: 6, 7, 9.

Whatever God has planned for us, whatever is in store for us, in whatever circumstances we find ourselves, ask God to lead, and just as God spoke those words to Joshua, God speaks them to us, too. “Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid. Don’t be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Let’s step forward with trust and believe it! Amen.

Sermon by Rev. Mary Fletcher for Parkview United Church, October 29, 2017. Sermon: God our Potter (Jeremiah 18: 1– 6)


UCW Service

Sermon: God our Potter Jeremiah 18: 1 – 6

Our United Church women have been studying Joyce Rupp’s book The Cup of Our Life over this past year, an analogy of our life and spiritual journey as represented by a cup. At their meetings, members were invited to bring a favourite cup or mug to remind themselves to fill their lives and spiritual life with God’s presence and God’s Spirit. God has many blessings to fill us up with, and Jesus refers to his Spirit as Living Water, so we get an image of our “cups” being filled with an ever-constant and never-ceasing source of Godly Living Water which keeps filling us up, even to overflowing.

And thinking about these various cups the women had chosen to bring to their meetings, I found myself thinking about how they were made. I thought about pottery and a potter’s wheel. In Jeremiah 18: 1 – 6, God our Maker refers to God’s Self as our potter. We read: “The Word came to Jeremiah from the Lord: `Go down to the potter`s house, and there I will give you my message.` So I went down to the potter`s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the Word of the Lord came to me: ‘…can I not do with you as this potter does…like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand.”

So imagine yourself at God the Potter’s wheel. God is going to mold you into a vessel, a cup of blessing. What do you look like? What design are you? What pattern, colour, size, shape, glaze, or finish are you? We can imagine in our mind’s eye what we think is beautiful, or ideal.

Here’s a story about a teacup:
A couple one day walked into a beautiful antique store – they both liked pottery, especially teacups.  Spotting an exceptional one, they asked the owner: “May we see that?  We’ve never seen a cup quite so beautiful.”

As they handled it, suddenly the teacup spoke:

“You don’t understand. I have not always been a teacup. There was a time when I was just a lump of clay. My master took me and rolled me, pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, “Don’t do that. I don’t like it! Leave me alone,” but he only smiled, and gently said, “Not yet!”

Then WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. “Stop it! I’m getting so dizzy! I’m going to be sick!,” I screamed. But the master only nodded and said quietly.  “Not yet.”
He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then he put me in the oven. I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. “Help! Get me out of here!” I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side, “Not yet.”

When I thought I couldn’t bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! “Ah, this is much better,” I thought. But after I cooled, he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. “Oh, please, stop it, stop,” I cried. He only shook his head and said. “Not yet!”

Then suddenly he put me back into the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. I was convinced I would never make it. I was ready to give up. Just then the door opened, and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf where I cooled, and waited, and waited, wondering “What’s he going to do to me next?”

An hour later he handed me a mirror and said “Look at yourself.” And I did. I said, “That’s not me; that couldn’t be me. It’s beautiful. I’m beautiful!!!”
Quietly he spoke: “I want you to remember, then,” he said, “I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you’d have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn’t put you there, you would have cracked. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn’t done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any colour in your life. If I hadn’t put you back in that second oven, you wouldn’t have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you.”

God knows what God is doing for each of us. God is the potter, and we are His clay. God will mold us and make us and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill God’s good, pleasing and perfect will.

So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance, when your world seems to be spinning out of control, when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials, when life seems to “stink,” try this:
Brew a cup of your favourite tea in your prettiest teacup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter.

And remember that Jesus our Living Water, will fill us to the brim, to over-flowing, living within us and blessing us, and his Living Water will flow into the lives of others. May the cup of our life be a blessing, blessed by God and Jesus, that we may be a blessing to others.


(The Tea Cup story – author unknown)