The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


'We are the clay, you are the potter'

"We are the clay, you are the potter. We are all the work of your hand." Isaiah 64:8

Because I'm a potter, Isaiah 64:8 has played a unique role in my understanding of my call to ministry. Clay, because of its elasticity, has a mind of its own. However, with a bit of patience and some extra energy any mound of clay can be shaped into a magnificent vessel. Like the clay in this verse, at times we stray from God's plan and guidance in our lives, yet we're pulled back into our shapes. We continue to need these little pulls to remind us of who is in control of our lives.

This image has played a key role in my discernment process. As a high school student, I attended the Summer Seminary Sampler at Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Columbus, Ohio. The program introduced me to numerous ways ministry can happen, not always through ordained ministry but also through other avenues such as teaching a class of first-graders, counseling troubled youth, being a mayor or being a funeral home director. I explored many of these paths during my college career.

I felt God was calling me to make a career of teaching pottery and creating works of art. But as I prepared to continue my education for that career path, I didn't feel fulfilled by that choice. I heard God calling me further ... pulling me to use pottery as a tool in ministry and, ultimately, to serve in the church. I saw God molding me to service in the church where I can share God's words and sacraments with all God's children.

God is a potter, forming and creating us into our forms, our callings. God's work is always changing and forming. We must take the time to listen to God's calling for our lives. By allowing our lives to be like the clay, we allow God to mold us into a beautiful vessel.

This week's front page features:

The invisible challenge: One couple tells their story of hearing loss.

A model effort: Oregon youth create a 'dream' church building.

Psyched about her work: Actor enjoys 'chief' role in comedy.

PLUers in a pew rack? Trio dresses up as worship books for Reformation party.

Also: Best practices: Hospitality.

Also: Letters to the editor: Luther's 95 Theses.

Also: Top story lineup for months ahead.

Read these articles at our front page ...

This week on our blog:

Andrea Pohlmann

Sonia Solomonson asks: "What happened to grace?" 

OMG! Andrea Pohlmann (right) asks readers to weigh in on the phrase "Oh, my God!"

Julie Sevig blogs about sitting in the right pew.

Check out our blog ...


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