Friday, November 25, 2011

Hollow Hearts Made to be Filled

Six hundred years before the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, Isaiah was dreaming. In a very modern sounding lament, he was yearning for a glimpse of the glory of the “old days” when God was more, shall we say, visible: "Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, with the mountains quaking before you, while you wrought awesome deeds we could not hope for, such as they had not heard of from of old." (Isaiah 63) Isaiah yearns for God to be present in his time of exile and expectation. “For you have hidden your face from us...” 

Isaiah longs, as we all still do, for the veil to be pulled back; for Divinity to reveal itself to humanity. Little could he dream that soon Divinity would actually conceal itself in humanity! If he only knew what God was about to do! The Author will enter His own Story, and the Potter Himself become clay! 

Isaiah’s classic image of God as the Potter and we the clay has a very incarnational feel to it. And a feel of mystery too. Imagining ourselves as clay means we cannot see, we can only feel. We feel the Master’s touch, feel in our “earthen vessels” the movement of the Master’s hands: the pinch that stings, the pressure that simplifies and smoothes out our lumps. If we yield to Him, we sense in our very being the delicate shaping and reshaping of His hands. Through life’s experiences, it is the fine-tuning of Him making us His masterpiece. 

This is Advent, the expectation of the great art our Father will make of us if we just let Him spin the potter’s wheel, grafting spirit and flesh into Nature’s finest creation. So let us let Him whirl us about in this workshop. This messy, dusty workshop of sanctity. And let’s watch the excess of layered clay be stripped from us, and let’s be emptied, made hollow for His purposes. Hollow vessels so designed to be so filled with His Word, His love! 

“No ear has ever heard, no eye ever seen, any God but you doing such deeds for those who wait..."
- Isaiah 63

First posted in the TOB Institute newsletter:

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