“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” — 2 Timothy 2:20-21
I’ll never forget the day. Word got out that the casting list was posted. (Now this was before email and text messages!) Veiling angst under a disingenuously calm veneer, I sauntered over to check the board of announced roles and corresponding names. Our middle school was doing the Wizard of Oz play that year, and I had tried out for the lead role of Dorothy.
As I feverishly scanned the list of chosen ones, I noticed something important was conspicuously absent: my name! Those who didn’t make the cut for preferred roles were offered the role of munchkin- something that didn’t feel like enough of a stretch for me. I attended a few rehearsals then soon after dropped out.
In hindsight, I realize that the role was repugnant to me for several reasons (many of which were self-focused!) with one nobler one being that I desired a role that would really require something of me and stretch me. Years later I fell in love with a director of a grander story than Dorothy in Oz- one that has not only current significance but eternal ramifications as well and inspires me to give my all in each part that he casts me in.
And while the school play I had tried out for had only so many “honorable” roles to cast, this greater story’s cast numbers and role assignments are solely limited by each participant’s own choices. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, speaks to this in his last letter to Timothy while passing on his torch. He confirms that there will indeed be less honorable roles in this greatest story ever told, but that the decision falls to each individual in reference to his or her own participation. And all are invited to participate!!
What better time of year is there to reflect on this story and our privileged part in it?! Not only is God for all who turn to him in sincere faith, he is in us, with us, beside us, and before us. Emmanuel is working in us, around us, and through us as ambassadors for his kingdom and glory in his tale of relentless, redemptive, pursuing love for mankind. He is making and looking for vessels of honor that are not just cleansed positionally, but who are walking accordingly. May we recognize and respond to his cues today!
Melissa Smith is the Women’s Enrich Counselor at America’s Keswick. She has the privilege and honor of ministering to the Colony men’s wives, fiancees and girlfriends, the Barbara’s Place women, and some women from the community who God brings to America’s Keswick for help or care. She and Bill, her husband of 18 years, have four adopted children ages 17 to 24. Her fervent desire is to point women to Christ and His sufficiency, provision, and promises.