Wednesday 5 October 2022 Jubilee 5 – An Unfortunate Typo?
Jeremiah 18: 1-6
“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.
Then the word of the Lord came to me: Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the Lord. Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.”
Go on, admit it, we’ve all done it. You have spelt it the Untied Reformed Church before. You weep, you despair, and most of the time, you don’t even notice it’s happened! But my most recent misspelling of it late at night got me thinking. What if we were untied? Many comment that we should be the Uniting Reforming Church, but the reality is we last did some uniting a long time ago (nearly before I was born). Sometimes, when we tie a shoelace, and it doesn’t quite go right, but it’s good enough. We think “that’ll do for now”. But, as a result, we may stumble, we may trip over. Untying and re-tying is the best solution. Jubilee is, biblically, a time for a reset. But how easy are we all to be reset, retied, moulded? How much are we like the clay in Jeremiah? Are we willing to be completely broken down and remoulded? Lots of rhetorical questions, not many answers…
This process does not begin with action, it begins with a willingness, to be untied, to be reformed. Harder to achieve than we may think, as we look back on our years of being the URC as it was. We may worry at losing what we had, at the expense of what is to come. Despite being in my younger years, I find myself gripping onto some things that sit firmly embedded within the URC.
But the beautiful thing about clay is it is still the same stuff, even when it’s been re-moulded. However spoiled, however tied up we may feel as a church, we can be remoulded by God. That can be done without having to let go of everything we hold dear, but acknowledging, with love, that God is moving in this place.
To finish, some words from Mumford & Sons’ song Sigh No More “Love, it will not betray you, dismay or enslave you It will set you free Be more like the man [person] you were made to be”
God the Potter You take us and you mould us, Into your people, into disciples of Jesus. Help us to be open to your work on us, to your plans for us Those plans to prosper, and not to harm. Let us be people open to being untied and retied. Constantly reforming, and constantly being your church. Amen.
Dan Morrell is a member of St Andrew’s Rounday and works with congregations to thrive in the digital age.