For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. (2 Corinthians 4:5-7)

Paul gives a strange illustration in these verses: as Christians we keep the light of God in clay jars. During Paul’s time, clay jars were common, cheap, useful, and disposable containers. It’s almost as if Paul is saying “We are Tupperware for Christ!” Not the most inspiring idea. And in one sense, Paul’s completely right. We are weak and fallible, and can only hope and trust in God for our own lives (our health, our selfishness, our failings, our bodies) to be made perfect again someday. But Paul also says this: if the “treasure” of God’s message is kept in such lowly vessels, it is the ultimate witness. God’s truth is not about us!  If people as ordinary and fragile as we are can transmit God’s love, then we are only messengers to something greater than ourselves. If we can learn that the world does not revolve around us, doesn’t that take the pressure off to be perfect?  No one is perfect, and by relinquishing control, we can more effectively bear God’s love to others.  This Lent, let us empty ourselves of our own baggage so that we can be useful, trusty Tupperware for Christ!

Gracious God, our task lists and agendas are overflowing.  We try to be your servants, but often we forget to get out of the way.  Spreading your message is our agenda.  Being your vessels is our task.  Help us during Lent to empty ourselves, as Christ di

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