But we have this treasure in earthen vessels . . . II Cor 4: 7a
We are earthen vessels, comprised of soil and God breathed life. We stumble, fall, and get dirty. We cause others to fall. Along with our depravity–our bent selves leaning toward sin–we embody imago Dei–the image of God.
If we are Christ’s, we carry the Holy Spirit. Yet the battle between His spirit and our bent tendencies continues. We feed our souls the way we feed our bodies–with nourishing foods or with junk. And though we may try to convince ourselves differently, what we consume matters.
In Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life, Tish Harrison Warren writes: “The way we use our bodies teaches us what our bodies are for. There are plenty of messages in our culture about this. The proliferation of pornography and sexually driven advertising trains us to understand bodies (our and other people’s) primarily as a means of conquest or pleasure. We are told that our bodies are meant to be used and abused or, on the other hand, that our bodies are meant to be worshiped.”
What our minds consume teaches us lessons that become hardwired into our psyches. It’s not just the cases of abuse we read about or see on television. It’s the way we treat each other–the waitress, the cab driver, the person who slows us down in line at the store or on the road.
For if anyone exists for conquest, no one is worthy of regard. When we miss our own purpose–to serve rather than conquer–we twist the purpose of others to fulfill our own desires.
When we recognize the sanctity of others, we are the vessels of purity. We show Christ to the world. We then can call others to purity.
“Our earthen vessels carry a treasure so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves.”
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