Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Apostle Paul acknowledges the words of Isa 64:8, when he says ,”But who are you,O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder,”Why have you made me like this?”

Maybe I will receive some rebuke for taking this Scripture out of context, which I freely admit it is.

There is a principle here which is applicable to many situations we are facing in the midst of those who claim to belong to “the church”. All,I trust, would claim to be in the hands of a Sovereign Lord, One who Isaiah, and Paul, acknowledge as the Potter who knows His business, and therefore the eventual use of the vessel He is making. He begins His task knowing what the vessel He is carefully making is to be used for.

Have you ever noticed that a master craftsman leaves an indelible something about his/her work which identifies it to those who care to look with a non-prejudiced eye? It's almost as if the potter is IN the vessel, or, at least something of his person, his spirit, is revealed in it's design, color, finish,etc.

We can be certain of one thing, the vessel is what the potter had in mind.

That brings me to a Christian woman my family knew. An exceptional lady, a gentle woman, whom I knew for some twenty five years. Her husband was a deacon in a congregation where my wife and I, and our five children attended.

Her name was Winifred. We knew her as Win. We knew her as a loving, caring,serving, Christ glorifying member of the Family of God.

Time passed during which time my, wife, family and I moved a long way from that congregation. I had been invited to serve as pastor in another congregation of the same denomination.

Six years on we accepted an invitation to minister to another denominational congregation. 

Twenty minutes away a small group of believers became a congregation in that denomination.

Imagine our delight when we found that Win and her husband were amongst this new group.

The new church developed in size, and Win and her husband continued on in the same manner as we had known all those years previously.

Some years passed and Win, so appreciated by the members of this church, was approached to stand as a deacon. After all, as both men and women acknowleged, she had for years, exhibited much more of the marks of the handiwork of the Master Potter, than most of the male deacons they had known.

I'm not going to detail the work of ugly fundamentalism that ensued. Those who read this will well know. A campaign was launched, much harm was caused by those four people in a congregation of forty. I was asked to talk to these four. Not one could give sound Scriptural reason for their opposition!

They were happy to let Win continue on doing the servant work of deacon, but to bestow on her “the office” of deacon was equal to blasphemy.

Some people never grow to maturity! So sad!

Win didn't start a fight. She didn't become secular and start a movement. She didn't change in the slightest. She was like the Potter who made her, she just got on with the task that she had done for all those years, and then she went to be with the One who had crafted her so lovingly, She received the only recognition she deserved; the only recognition any true servant of God deserves, and covets: “Well done,good and faithful servant”.

Good servants don't need earthly recognition, they simply get on with the task. Win's whole life was a sermon. She didn't need a platform. Win's whole life reflected the Potter. She didn't need an “office”. SHE JUST GOT ON WITH THE TASK!

She had ALL she needed! We have too, male or female, if we would wake up and see!


Paul Burleson said...

Aussie J,

What a GREAT story! With your permission, I'd like to use it when teaching pastors about this very issue.

One of my real anticipations is for that moment, in the presence of the One who knows all the truth and it is revealed to those who don't, is the look on the face of those who have tried to hold back the service of those like Win.

I don't mean this in an "I told you so" way at all. I just love the look on someone's face when the light comes on about something special. That will be an eternal moment worth seeing.

Thanks Aussie J, for a great post.

Aussie John said...


If anything I write can be a useful tool for God's people you are welcome to use it.

I sensed an urgency to write this as I see a dangerous kind of secularity coming across among many "Christian feminists" (?). That term,itself, is offensive to the even-handedness with which Scripture deals with followers of Christ.

One woman blogger decries the fact that women (read: she) aren't invited to speak at conferences etc.

Win's ministry was powerful,and yet, was the epitome of servant-hood, which Scripture never defines by gender.

She, like any male Christian who knows who he is in Christ, didn't want recognition, nor to be seen in front of a crowd representing women who had "made it" to some mountain top, which Jesus never aspired to.

It is my great desire to see many more men AND women like Win, who reflected her Lord.

Paul. I appreciate your encouragement and willingness to read and comment, whether positive or negative.

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