We had fun playing with Sculpy during worship. Wonderful creations emerged from the warmth of our hands on this plasticine substitute for clay. We worked like potters – producing fish, birds, bowls, snakes, and what I mistakenly thought was a mushroom. God shapes and renews us, like a potter, forming even scraps back into wholeness. God asks that we permit ourselves to be molded into a beautiful and useful vessel. This requires us to yield, to trust, to permit pain and vulnerability, for the process may not always feel good to us – the clay. It is not an easy process that clay goes through for air to be removed and bits and pieces of impurities absorbed. It is hard work for the potter, and tough on the clay. The clay may be pounded and battered until it is pliant, clear of defects, the material easy to work. Such working is like our life challenges; things that deflate and overwhelm us; criticism from those who love us; guilt we feel in our hearts because of things we did or did not do. But out of the battering, when we are able surrender ourselves and trust the Holy, we learn how the Spirit is leading us, and something very wonderful arises. The message of the potter and the clay is powerful because it tells us we always have another chance. When we fail, have lost the beauty or purpose we once had, or gone down an unhelpful path, God can rework us, reclaim us and make us beautiful.