My Aunt Polly used her good china, every day. She said, “Tea and coffee taste better in a thin, china cup.”
When I married Dave in 1989, our guests gave us Pfaltzgraff Folk Art dishes for everyday use and a china dinnerware set. We used them for 15 years, until most had been broken or chipped, dwindling down to a few.
Since we needed more everyday dishes, I began collecting white or glass plates and bowls. They came from auctions, garage sales, a relative’s basement, and a Good Will resale store. A mismatched and eclectic set.
Of course, I still have special-occasion dishes because 1980’s brides wanted both. We pull those delicate dishes out for holiday meals, and I think about my Aunt Polly’s insistence that they be used every day.
God uses everyday dishes. The New Testament writer, Paul, used the words “unadorned clay pots” as a metaphor for you and me, ordinary, everyday people.
Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.
If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at.2 Corinthians 4:5-7, The MessageIn Paul’s day, inexpensive clay pots and dishes were used in every household for every imaginable task, from meal time to night time potty. I’m a clay pot, and God places His treasure in clay pots.
Here’s the Point
How often do we celebrate the grand successes and overlook the small acts of faithful servants? The Christian culture lifts up big platforms and large audiences like the speaker who reaches thousands through books and podcasts and events. Those people, and that reach, should be celebrated, but the average person who faithfully serves every day, doing what God asked him or her to do, shouldn’t be overlooked.
Consider the impact of these ordinary people:
- David was an ordinary shepherd, the youngest in his family, before He became Israel’s king.
- Mary was an ordinary girl with a common name before she became Jesus’s mother.
- Peter was just an ordinary fisherman, too quick to act and speak for his own good, before he became one of the men who turned the world upside down.
Consider the impact of one faithful follower of Jesus who multiplies her life:
In the mission to tell the world about Jesus, one ordinary woman can have a significant impact. If she disciples another woman for a year and sends her out to disciple another woman, and if they continue this process over and over, year after year, she will reach the world in 35 years! That process happens through spiritual multiplication. One man or woman who preaches about Jesus in front of thousands for years could never have the same impact as that faithful woman who disciples women throughout her life and sends them out to do the same.
So, if I feel small, it’s because I am small. If I feel ordinary, it’s because I am ordinary. But, God uses small, ordinary people to shine his light. Because of Him, we are all extra-ordinary.