A vessel, a conduit, a carrier, a container, a receptacle —-I’m not sure what the right word is to express how we might reveal God’s light and love in this world and in us though the Indwelling Spirit of God. But it certainly wouldn’t be me doing any of it. I’d have to get out of the way of His brilliance for it to shine through me.
I am just like a grain of sand in this universe—infinitesimally small and yet needed to be a carrier of God’s light and love.
What a privilege to be a carrier of that light and love and to not take any credit for being a carrier of it. To acknowledge all the human ways I still have that might get in the way of how God is using me. Like calling attention to me! Or not seeing what is true for another person. Or not seeing another person in the light of love. I believe that we will stay in this human condition until the day we die and can shed this human body and its accompanying self-preoccupations which amount to mostly safety and viability concerns—like the “fight or flight” syndrome that so captivates us. We will have this nature with us/in us and yet we don’t have to be ruled by it.
Those ways are natural to us humans and yet they also get very much in our way when we are trying to serve God and to fulfill our purpose on this earth. But we can go down that ever-deepening path to serving and loving God and letting go as much of our humanity as we can. Surrendering “our ways,” seeing from an ever-broadening view, not just our own personal lens, and listening to and being led by the “still, small voice” of God. As we see more clearly day by day, we gain wisdom, that is, God’s insight, into our very natures, accepting it and then doing what He is urging us to do.
Of all those synonyms above, I think I like the word vessel best: we can be like a pitcher with God pouring His love and mercy into us and we, in turn, pour it right back out to the world. That way we are participating in God’s love, receiving it and sharing it. What if every Christian in the world would do this, wouldn’t we be 2.2 billion vessels pouring out God’s love and mercy to the other 2/3 of the world’s population, treating them as we are treated by God? Wouldn’t we be a force for unity and love and forgiveness? After all, every human being is made in God’s image; isn’t it time we treated everyone else as if they, too, belonged to God? What a force for love and healing and forgiveness we would be!
To love, embrace, acknowledge the story we hear, accept, be fond of, intimate with, attached to, be compassionate towards, care for—these are synonyms of love. To love means that what I overheard a woman in my former church say can no longer be true in a person who loves like God loves: “I love everyone, but I don’t have to like them!”
Here’s how Paul describes love: “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
Paul, as Saul of Tarsus, started out hating the new religion based on Jesus Christ, but after an encounter with the Risen Christ, went on to promote that church throughout the Mediterranean area. He went from hate to being a vessel of love and embrace and forgiveness. May we all do the same!
Questions to ponder over the week: Am I a vessel of light and love? Do I accept God’s love for me and then pour it out to others? Do I need to polish/to clean the pitcher/me so that the light can shine through me? Can I even feel God’s love and forgiveness for me? If I can’t accept God’s love and forgiveness, how can I pass it on to others? [Just ponder/journal/write about the one(s) that resonate with you.]
Blessing for the week: May we be the people of God who receive God’s love and forgiveness(even if we don’t feel worthy of it) and then pour it out to everyone we meet. May we have so given ourselves up to the Lord that He has healed us of our major sufferings. May we be clear about whose we are.
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 1 King 19:12
 I Corinthians 13:1-8