Summary: A sermon in story form that uses a made up fairy tale to lay the platform for discussing the Potter and the clay.

JER 18:1 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 "Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message." 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.

JER 18:5 Then the word of the LORD came to me: 6 "O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?" declares the LORD. "Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. 7 If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.

The Potter.

The village of Miralay sat high in the Alps - In the Winter - tourists would come to ski and to climb in the high mountains around the village. Others came for their health to enjoy the high mountain air to be restored before plunging back into their busy lives. But the secret to Miralays fame lay elsewhere.

It was to one little shop cum house in the village that many visitors came. Still set in the 19th century people. would push the door which rang the bell that summoned the Potter to the shop - there he would talk to the visitors for hours over this purchase or that before they purchased one item or another made from the famous blue clay for which Miralay was so famous.

Nobody else had been able to tame the curious blue clay that oozed out of a cave at the foot of one of Miralays mountains. Only the Potter and his Father before him had been able to produce the exquisite blue pottery that had made the town so famous.

Courtiers of Kings and emissaries of prime Ministers and presidents as well as the wealthy and the famous all had in their time beaten a path to the potters door.

But it was three winters ago that Miralay had experienced a chain of events that was to affect it for a hundred years

The woman who had alighted from the train that day was immediately recognizable as someone who was of some importance.

Her clothes and bearing and the fact that she was accompanied by a bustling secretary and two obviously military men still recognizable in their plain clothes confirmed it for Amos the Old Station master that this woman indeed was someone of some importance.

The secretary had carried a box and seemed to guard it with great care. The Military men hovered around the package with great concern. A taxi whisked them off to the Potters shop and soon the bell in the shop was summoning the Potter from his work to meet the woman and her party.

The woman had introduced herself as Helga Sloutski the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Barbaria the neighbouring Kingdom to the tiny Kingdom of Blashika in which the people of Miralay lived.

She asked that the Lord Mayor of Miralay be summoned. When the Lord Mayor and his bustling town Clerk arrived the woman stated her mission.

For many years Barbaria had restrained itself from taking over the nation of Blashika because of an agreement made in 1899 at the treaty of Barbaria. However the treaty was for just 100 years and

Barbariaa could quite justly now take over Blashika.

The Potter trembled at the thought, for the harsh policies of the cruel regime in Blashika had reduced that once beautiful place into an arid terrible place.

Helga Sloutski had explained how Barbaria also had a treaty with their larger neighbour Grouski which had sealed the treaty for a hundred years. The treaty had been sealed with two blue vases which the Prime Minister of Grouski had had specially made by the Potters Father. The treaty could be renewed for a further 100 years on the return of the two blue vases. The problem was One of the vases had been broken. The broken pieces, along with the whole vase, were in the parcel which the secretary now unwrapped.

The Potter tenderly took the pieces almost lovingly into his hands.

There on one piece was his Fathers familiar signature but most alarming of all, the clay was of a type from a seem that was no longer used, for it was high in the mountains and difficult to find.

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