Sermon – August 17, 2014

Community - Letters to the Church in CorinthTreasures in Jars of Clay,” by Rev. Mike Holly

Sermon Series: Community – Letters to the Church in Corinth

Clay pots and jars were very important in the everyday lives of folks in Israel. They used clay pots for baking over a fire and clay jars for storing oil and other precious possessions. Clay vessels were widely used because they were relatively easy to make and were quite versatile. The problem with clay vessels then is the same problem with clay vessels today: they are fragile.

Paul mentions in 2nd Corinthians that Christians have a treasure in clay jars. We like clay are fragile, but God’s love and Spirit within us are like a precious treasure. We can’t boast because we’re simply the vessel. It’s the one who gave us this treasure that deserves the respect, honor and worship. During times of trouble and suffering, early Christians kept their minds set upon God, His love and His power. They endured and persevered because God’s light shined in the darkness.

The media has revealed to us for quite some time now that our brothers and sisters in Christ find themselves threatened and persecuted overseas. We must pray for them and hope that God’s light shines for each and everyone of them. At the same time, we must also consider in our own lives – are we willing to step out of our comfortable lives and dare to do the radical, loving and grace-ful things that God asks us to do in His name?

—Mike Holly

The Word

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies. For while we live, we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be made visible in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.



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