But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. (2 Cor 4:7-10)
The minister preached on this at church yesterday, and I really liked the context he gave to the whole 'jars of clay' thing. I've never felt offended at being called a jar of clay. It sounds kind of cool and poetic. And aesthetically pleasing. As my minister said, we dig up these old clay pots from thousands of years ago, and put them in to museums. But back in the day they weren't special at all. They were the most common-place, boring sort of container around. They were like the Chinese take away containers of the day.
So the point is, sure, the vessel is crumby, and not worthy of any notice whatsoever. I am a Chinese take away container- probably a cracked one with a warped lid that won't close properly from being put in the microwave.
But it's all about the contents. I carry around the death of Jesus, and I carry around His Spirit in me, and that's what matters. It's never about me, and that's a relief.