2 Timothy 2:20-21
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.
As the above passage says, there are various vessels in a house. Each vessel has its own function. One such vessel is a cup. There are different types of cups. You can have a glass or a plastic cup. You can have a coffee mug or a beer mug. Regardless of what type of cup it is, they all serve a similar function. They were made to hold something. The most noticeable something is a liquid. Within the life of a cup it constantly is filled, emptied, and reused. Depending on your household, even the red disposable plastic Solo cups gets washed and reused more than once. The cup was made for a specific purpose and use.
Every person is a cup. Every cup has a purpose. The cup receives and it gives. It holds the liquid for a period and then it releases it. The liquid does not belong to the cup. The cup is merely a holding vessel for whatever is passing through. The liquids are the gifts of God given to us. There are time when people try to hold their gifts, as if the gifts belong to them, yet the gift does not belong to us. We are merely holding it for a period of time. When the time is up, we must let it go but we can rest assure, that even if we are empty, we will be refilled according to the master’s use and need.
Different cups were made for different things. A glass does not hold the same liquids as a coffee mug. The coffee mug can handle hotter temperatures than the glass can. A tall glass can hold more than a shot glass but each one is needed to fulfill its purpose.
When it gets to the point that it no longer serves its purpose, than the cup is re-appropriated or discarded. The only reason a “useless” cup might be able to stick around past its usage is if it connects to some sentimental value, like the clay cups children make in elementary school. Many times, they come out all deformed. The paint job is less than nice. The teacher has the nerve to put this monstrosity in the kiln to become permanent sealed to its warped fate. Parents and grandparents keep these useless pieces not because of its use but because of who created it. There are various child-like clay cups all around. In our eyes they may seem useless and seeming to serve no purpose other than taking up space. We talk bad about it. We call it ugly and a piece of junk. We say it needs to be thrown away. Yet, it was created by God. That alone makes the cup valuable. It may not be a gold or silver cup, but it still has value because the Creator made it. In the same manner that anything with Coco Chanel or Van Gogh sells for top dollar, The Creator’s mark makes the cup a work of art.
Whatever your work, you do not have to be ashamed or compete for your use. You are valuable to the master. You were created by God and God will use you in due season if you remain open and remain available.
My greatest fear about theological education is the reading and writing. Coming from an “art” background, reading was not a major part of the curriculum. Having attained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree in Interactive Media (Graphic Design and Web Design), the focus was more on what you can produce opposed to “book-smarts.” I had art professors openly admit that they were not the best spellers, let alone writers. Continue reading…