J for Jars of Clay

From the 10th letter in the alphabet; J.

“All these pieces, broken and scattered.”

There are so many ways to approach this topic on the Jars of Clay that we always sing about, and I procrastinated for a couple of days thinking about what message I believe God wants me to send out to this generation. I’m not sure about you, but I have never really analysed or pondered the importance and relevance in a jar of clay. What I got from Him was surprising; and subsequently, this article is going to be rough, but bear with me as it is very, very real.

Have you ever taken a step back from your reality to glance at the world we live in? Has the broken and injured condition of our world ever crossed your mind? Have you ever looked at the world and cried out to God in desperation, “How on earth, do we heal this land?”

We live in a world that is filled with so much decay and abuse, not merely just of the resources on our dear planet Earth, but also revolving around human neglect and ruin. Stories of terrorists using children as suicide bombers cross our headlines more often than not. Articles about filthy rich teenagers bribing people to do disgustingly inappropriate and inhumane things, such as shooting a pet dog or drinking their urine for money are plastered on Snapchat news, as well as the increase of awareness videos about child marriages that swamp our social media timelines. Closer to home, the suicide of the girl who scored straight A’s in her SPM but ranked second in class went viral in our nation, and even more recently, the suicide of the student from Sunway College. If you still don’t believe me when I say there is something terribly wrong with our world, go read a newspaper or tap on the CNN and Daily Mail icons on Snapchat. Has there ever been a point in history where the morals and standards of our broken society have been at this all-time-low? I wouldn’t think so.

As a generation, we often choose to ignore so many of the drastic things that occur outside of the four walls we’ve built because those things don’t directly affect us, so there’s “no harm done”, right? But the reality of it is that our world is interconnected is more ways than one, and the truth we choose to ignore is that this world needs us. This world needs to see the love of God again, and as the chosen generation, we have this fearless ability to jump and sing praises to Jesus, which should rightfully translate into the authority and command we’ve been given to reveal God’s love in us.

As a chosen generation, we are supposed to be the salt and light of the world. It is so easy to sit back and watch these things happen without consequence to ourselves, and say, “Oh, it’s okay, I’ll just pray about it.” Yes of course, praying about the tragic events you see on the news is fantastic and you absolutely should, but what about the little treasures that God has already entrusted to you? What about that friend who is hurting in school and wears a jacket all the time because of the cuts on her arms? What about the guy who fakes a smile to hide all the fights going on at home? What about that one friend who seeks for love and affection in all the wrong places and with all the wrong people? You see, there is no one person in this world who needs Jesus any less than you or I, and the biggest difference is that they don’t know Him like we do. It is God who has called us for more than just what we’re comfortable with doing, and the best place to start is right here and right now, with you and I.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6

We as a chosen generation have this light (knowledge of God’s glory) that is kept within our jars of clay. The thing about our jar of clay is that it has flaws, chips and cracks, and can easily break. It’s not an expensive vase made out of the finest china but a common, ordinary vessel made from earthy dirt and mud. Our jar of clay is our insecurity and outward appearance and physical disabilities, but it is also our shattered dreams, disappointments and failures. Our jar of clay is fragile and vulnerable; it is raw and it may have a couple of cracks in it, but our jar of clay is the very thing God uses to bring light into this world. Doesn’t it seem silly, that God would choose to prize His most valued treasure in a fragile jar of clay? But that’s the character of our God, who will do anything to show His lost sheep that their broken jars of clay are exactly what He wants from you.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7

God uses ordinary people to create something extraordinary; just as He created you so He could use your impefections and flaws to bring His light into our very damaged world. Those cracks and frailties in our clay jar? They allow the very essence of God’s love, our treasure, to seep out of it and light up the darkened world around us for everyone to see. Your vulnerability before God; your broken jar of clay has been gathered in His mercy and mended because of what Jesus has already done for us on the Cross, and hey, in the time of Paul, even broken shards of clay jars had a use as writing materials for messages and notes.

Having your entire life together and being the girl/guy in class who is quiet and closed-off in school but the most active member of youth is not what God is asking of you. You’ve grown into the purpose and plan that He has for you, but it’s not enough to just go to church every weekend and not do anything in school, it’s not enough to share your journey with only your CG members, it’s not enough to settle for less than what God has called you for, because there is a broken generation out there that needs to see God’s light through you. You will never be younger than you are right now, and you will never be more ready to share about the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

It’s time we started being brave; it’s time we stepped out of our shell of timidity and fear; it’s time we started breaking our jars of clay and letting the light of Christ shine through. It’s time we started being R4JC [Radical for Jesus Christ].

“So take this heart Lord, I’ll be your vessel. The world to see, your Love in me.”

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