An old jug

The last time I was visiting my mom, she gave me an old jug.  She’s had it for years and now was ready to pass it on to me.  It’s not very fancy, but it is rather beautiful.  There’s a cork stuck in the top and the colors of the glaze are earthy tones of brown.  She remembers this old jug sitting in her grandparents’ home, and it’s been passed down through the generations.  It makes me wonder what it was used for back in the day.  Was it to carry water?  Was it for milk?  Maybe moonshine?  I’ve actually considered trying to get the cork out and see if there’s a smell inside, but it’s been maybe hundreds of years.  So, I think I’ll let the mystery remain corked.

This old jug now rests on a shelf in our home, and I’m affectionately calling it a faith jug.  I’ve named it a “faith jug” because it reminds me of how active and utilized this jug used to be and how now it’s simply ornamental and sits on a shelf.  In 1st Corinthians Paul writes, “What I received I pass on to you.”  Paul is referring to his faith in Jesus Christ.  This passing on of faith can happen in a variety of ways.  I remember Grandma wearing pearls and bright red lipstick every Sunday morning because worship was special.  I remember grandpa stopping to help a stranger by the road.  In a sense, they were passing on their faith.  Today, when my grandson spends the night at our house, the first thing I do after getting him out of bed is take him outside and say, “Let’s go see what God did while we were sleeping.”

The faith we have received was not meant to be kept on a shelf as some ornamental piece of art.  The faith we have received is meant to be shared and active in the world, to be passed on to each other.  From the old to the young, from the young to the old – together we foster a sense of wonder and amazement at all God continues to do in and among us.   So, will I uncork the jug and use it?  Or, will I keep it on the shelf and admire it?  I’ll probably keep it corked and on the shelf, but as a gentle reminder to not let my faith sit there with it.

In God’s Peace,

Pastor Derek