2 Timothy 2:20-21
20 In a large house there are utensils not only of gold and silver but also of wood and clay, some for special use, some for ordinary. 21 All who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned will become special utensils, dedicated and useful to the owner of the house, ready for every good work.
I imagine Paul would be quite surprised by the variety and convenience of our utensils today! There are gadgets that can make almost every aspect of our lives easier and more efficient. But if you’re like me, I usually grab a utensil for these reasons: proximity, simplicity, and cleanliness. I’ll use a knife rather than go to another room to get the scissors; I’ll use a manual can opener because I struggle with electric ones; I’ll eat with a spoon if the forks are dirty. I find that I appreciate a utensil, not for its glamour or ease, but for its ready usefulness to me.
Our Lenten focus for today is usefulness. Paul tells Timothy that all of us- whether we are ‘gold,’ ‘silver,’ ‘wood’ or ‘clay’- can become special utensils, ready for every good work God has in mind for us. Aren’t you excited by this thought? God may have us in mind for special use, or God may want us for ordinary use. Either way, we can be useful to God!
If we desire to be useful and “ready for every good work,” perhaps we should consider our proximity, simplicity and cleanliness. God is present within and around us, but we can feel closer in proximity if we are attentive to God through prayer, study and reflection. If we free ourselves from any unnecessary things that hinder or complicate our lives, our simplicity helps us to be more readily available for God’s use. Paul speaks of cleanliness in his words, “all who cleanse themselves of the things I have mentioned will become special utensils…” When we ask God to forgive those things that make us sinful and unclean, and let God’s perfecting love wash over us, we will be cleansed and sparkling!
One more thought… what if God wishes to use us differently than for what we think our purpose is? If I can exchange a knife for scissors, imagine what God can do! We only need to be ready for every good work. How might we be useful for God today?
Our focus item for today is my grandma’s fork. It is just a simple fork, but I use it often and treasure it as a keepsake. Perhaps you have a simple utensil you really appreciate. Let that be your reminder for today!
Out of love you have created me uniquely, and I long to be useful to you! Help me to be ready for every good work you have in mind. Even if you surprise me! Amen.