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Summary: Isaiah says that we are the clay and that God is the potter. God spins us on His potter’s wheel turning us into jars of clay for His purpose.

-Maybe you remember the song by the group Dead or Alive in the 1980s entitled “You spin me right round”

-The chorus is what most people remember

-It goes, “You spin me right round baby right round like a record baby, right round, round, round.”

-When Andrew was younger and he would spin around in circles, I would sing that song. He started singing it, well sort of. He sang, “You spin me right round baby right round rica round baby rica round baby.”

-That’s kind of what Isaiah is talking about in the Old Testament lesson today

-If you recall Isaiah called God’s Old Testament people to repent of their sins during the reigns of Kings . . .

-Isaiah starts out the text wondering out loud why God has caused such dire straits to fall on Israel

-God’s enemies have trampled on some of the places dedicated to Him

-Now, Isaiah is asking that God come down and judge the enemies of God’s people for desecrating His temple

-However, Isaiah points out that none of the Israelites really deserve saving

-Isaiah says that not even their good deeds are worth noting – they are like filthy rags that somebody cleaned up a mess with

-He points out that no one really turns to God – no one is concerned about what God thinks is right or wrong

-I know we can resonate

-Sometimes that is how we feel when we look at our lives

-We might only see our faults

-We might only see how our feeble our attempts at comforting others or reading God’s word really are {PAUSE}

-But at the end of the text, Isaiah points out that they are the clay and God is the potter

-Here we have the connection

-We are a lump of clay on the God’s potter’s wheel

-Early clay pottery was made by taking strands of clay and coiling it together and then pinching the strands together

-However, the earliest pottery made with pottery wheels date to around 1400 B. C. Some maybe even earlier.

-If you recall, Isaiah prophesied during the reigns of Kings Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah from around the 740s BC until the 690s BC.

-Have any of you ever used a pottery wheel?

-My experience is very limited

-The circular motion of the wheel helps one to form the pottery in an even fashion

-But those of you who have practiced much realize that there are many mistakes in the learning process

-Many times you have to take your oddly shaped vase, stop the wheel, push the top back down into another lump and start from the beginning

-That is how it feels sometimes with our relationship with God

-We get badly misshapen and God pushes us down and builds us back up the way he wants us {PAUSE}

-That’s a little like basic training isn’t it

-The military has learned a lesson from God maybe in that they stress young men and women out in order to break them down so that they might reform them into good soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines

-They try to stop them from thinking about themselves only but to think more about the team and the collective effort

-In a way, it is the perfect scenario

-You take young men and women, mostly straight out of high school who have never been away from mom and dad for more than a few hours at a time, who have always had support structures in place wherever they’ve been

-And now they are away from home for the first time for weeks, for months without seeing mom and dad and brothers and sisters

-They don’t have any of their old friends anymore

-All they have is each other

-Everything they knew is being challenged – new terms, new ways of dressing, talking, acting

-Once you’ve served in the military, nothing is ever the same again

-If I didn’t know it from my own experience, once I left active duty I never put my watch back on civilian time – it has stayed on a 24 hour clock ever since, I relearned it again the last two weeks

-I was in Kansas City last weekend doing a wedding for a young couple

-As I was walking along down near the plaza in uniform, looking for a place to buy a wedding card and find a restroom, a couple young men greeted me with, “Good morning captain.”

-You know they were prior service – they went back into the mode even though they had been back on the block for years

-As we were wrapping up the Bomb Wing staff Thanksgiving luncheon on Tuesday around noon, a call came in from one of the helping agencies here on base

-They had a family of a retiree who had lost his job, lost his car and lost his house and were here to get some medicine for one of his dependent grandchildren

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