As we sat in the sanctuary, dozens of folks handled the big chunk of clay. Many touched it. Some even poked little impressions into its rounded surface.
However, after being passed through scores of hands, the ball of clay remained pretty much as it was when the first person among us touched it. Still just a more-or-less spherical glob.
It had been touched many times.
But it had not really been changed.
Reminds me of a lot of us Christians.
We go to Church on Sundays longing for a touch from God’s hand. And when He touches us, we sing with a tear in our eye or a lump in our throat, “He touched me! O, He touched me, and O! the joy that floods my soul.”
Believer, we don’t need only to be touched. We need to be changed!
Paul referred to this fact when he told the Galatian Christians he was laboring for them “until Christ is formed in you” (Galatians 4:19). Jesus Himself placed before the Church the challenge to become like Him, to be remade into His likeness.
Scripture calls God the Potter and us the clay in His hands.
Have you ever seen what it takes for a potter to make something out of a lump of clay?
First, the clay has to be dug from the ground. Then it has to be ground into a fine powder, and all of the impurities removed. Next, it is mixed with water into a thick paste and extruded into big chunks. From this lump, the potter breaks off a chunk and kneads it to bring it to the right consistency. Then he slams it down onto a wheel, gradually and painstakingly turning and molding it into shape. Finally, after the clay dries, the potter places it into a blazing kiln.
Then, and only then, is the clay fit for the use designated by the potter.
It takes more than a touch.
If all you want is just a touch from God, you are welcome to ask Him, and He will probably touch you. However, if that’s all you want, it’s all you are likely to get: just a touch from God. It will be wonderful, to be sure, and your soul will be thrilled.
And, after the thrill wears off, you may remain basically unchanged.
God’s preference is that you place yourself fully into His hands. Let Him utterly remake you, and form you into the likeness of His Son.
When you go to Church this Sunday – and you WILL go to Church this Sunday, won’t you?! – don’t come out of the building the same as you went in. Prepare your heart to let God make you different, indeed, make you more like His Son Jesus.
Let such a desire be your prayer for these trying times. After all, it takes more than a touch. It takes a change.