Treasure that Points Beyond Ourselves

Treasure in Clay Jars

It is an amazing thing to be alive. Somehow, even though we are made of bones that break, flesh that cuts, veins that bleed and egos that are fragile we are still capable of surprising things. Science has learned much about how the human body works but it is still short of understanding why it does. The Apostle Paul knows why. All these fragile things come together to make a human life in order to point beyond the frailty of our life to the power of the God who made us.

He uses the image of “treasure in clay jars” to capture this. Any of us who have had pottery long enough know how beautiful it is when done well. But we have to also admit – being impressed with the art makes us admire the artist. Likewise, most of us have had some beautiful piece of ceramic or pottery only to drop it or knock it against something and have it break. While it is strong and useful on the one hand, it is fragile and vulnerable on the other. You want something that lasts a long time for sure you make it out of stainless steel!

So Paul’s text means that we are somewhat like that as well. First, we are strong and capable on the one hand but also fragile and vulnerable on the other. Second, this weakness that we all bring makes the things God does through us all the more amazing. And finally, recognizing that we are not the creator but the created means when we see an amazing thing being done by a faithful person, it should point beyond us as the art and to God as the artist.

Our lives are a treasure. But they are also a gift. Use your gifts wisely and always remember to point beyond yourself to the one who made you. For we carry within us the amazing power of God.

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