China Cups

2 Timothy 2:20-21 – But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. (NKJV)

I grew up in a home that had a china cabinet with a row of china cups behind the glass. They were brought out once a year to be dusted or washed, and maybe one other time to serve tea in.

Recently, I was talking to a friend about going to a princess tea at the church. My friend told me that when she was growing up, they also had a china cabinet and china cups in their home. One day, her sister said to their mom, "We must be very poor because none of the cups match."

Her mom explained that each tea cup had come to their house individually, and that each cup had a special meaning and a story to go with it.

As she was telling me this, I began thinking about how we are all like china cups: each one unique, each one with a story, and each one fragile. Some have chips and cracks. However, God saw value in these cups and gave His life for them. He saw value in us, as if we were without blemish.

What will happen to these cups in the years to come? Some will be given to other family members; some will get broken; and some may even be lost. They will always remain mismatched, and for the most part, hardly used.

Isaiah 64:8 – Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand. (NIV)

Those of us in Christ have an eternal home with God, even though we are chipped and mismatched. And in the meantime, we also have another role: to reach out to the lost, chipped, and broken ones around us. As today's verse says, if we cleanse ourselves from dishonour, we will be useful for the Master.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for Your saving grace in our lives. We do want to honour You and be useful vessels for Your service. Help us to retain the truth that we are all works of Your hands. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Julie Bowles