Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8 NRSV).
As we begin the Season of Advent, I found these words from the Prophet Isaiah speaking to me.
During this season of hope, peace, love and joy we are waiting to remember the arrival of the Incarnate Word as a vulnerable, innocent child. The season is full of endless chatter, holiday parties, shopping, holiday musak, and end of the year thank yous. The radio plays the old song Silver Bells with the words “and above all this bustle; you’ll hear…” But, at what point do we stop for a little solitude and silence to contemplate this great Season of Advent? What will it take for us to “listen, and incline the ear of our heart” (Prologue of St. Benedict’s Rule), as we wait in joyful expectation of God’s Love in revealed in the human flesh?
The words from Isaiah tell us that God is the potter and we are the clay. These words are echoed in the old hymn “Have Thine own way, Lord. Have Thine own way. Thou art the potter, I am the clay.” When we meditate on these words, we are immediately confronted by our false-sense of self. The self that must be approved and approving, happy no matter what, self absorbed and self centered. God came to us in Jesus Christ, because God is the potter.
God sees in us just how beautiful we are and how gorgeous we can be. If only we will spend some time in quiet contemplation of viewing ourselves from God’s perspective as a people destined for greatness by letting go in humility our understanding of who we think God is. We must let God reveal God’s Self to us, so that God can mold, shape and prepare us to become beautiful vessels that bless the world one hundred times over.
“The second degree of humility is that a person love not his own will nor take pleasure in satisfying his desires, but model his actions on the saying of the Lord, “I have come not to do My own will but the will of Him who sent Me.” (St. Benedict’s Rule for Monasteries, Chapter 7 On Humility, p.24).
Will you allow God to mold and shape you during this Advent Season?
Brother Anselm Philip King-Lowe, OSB