The Living Word
Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. I Corinthians 7:17
The Word In Motion
The kitchen was dark. The kitchen staff had just left and the pots and pans still swung from the overhead rack. No sooner did the door close than the voice of the goblet rang out.
“Did you see that! I was filled no less than five times!” He was always one to gloat. He knew that without him the Master could be grumpy. He was THE Master’s wine goblet, and he never let anyone forget it.
A muffled snirk emerged from under the sink. Chamber Pott was not known for his congeniality. He was always grumbling under his breath about not being valued for his contributions to the work around the mansion. His thinking now was about how many times HE had been filled today. Let’s just say it was more than five, though it was not exactly wine either.
Nobody paid any attention to the sounds under the counter. Sir Irving Tray was going on about all the things he was expected to carry. He had such great responsibilities and the Master was wise not to entrust them to anyone else.
But Turk E. Platter was not to be outdone. Sir Tray didn’t have anything to do with the main dish being served. It was he, Turk, that was summoned to that task.
Mr. and Mrs. T. Set certainly had something to say. They had served since - well, no one could remember that far back. They had always been there - together. And no one looked so fine as they either.
To everyone’s chagrin the Dish had to chime in. (Contrary to popular belief, she did not - ever - run away with the spoon. How absurd!) She first bragged about being the focal point of ALL the finery and in the same breath berated the Master for abusing her with knife and fork - all that cutting and poking was hard on her figure! It simply wasn’t fair. And daily use! Please! She needed a break - uh, let me rephrase that, she needed a vacation.
The desert plate was all for that. Underutilized and always in a sticky situation, she coveted her sister’s position.
The conversation went on and on. Or more appropriately, the soliloquies went on and on. No one really listened to what the other said, so long as he or she had the opportunity to do a little bragging or comparing too.
Unnoticed in the back of the kitchen, the Potter had entered the room. He had made each and every piece of service for the Master. They were his designs, their functions decided by him.
Chamber Pott, with the lowest vantage point, was the first to notice his presence. “Hello, Potter.” His was not the pleasant tone one would expect. “What do you want?”
The room went quiet as each turned toward the Potter. The Potter’s face was somber. “I came to see how each of you were adapting to service to the Master.”
“Splendid,” interjected the goblet. “Did you notice the red wine stains in me from this evening’s service. The Master is in good spirits, and I must say, it is all my doing.”
“Bite your tongue, Goblet! It was I who brought him all his favorite things. It was my service that put him in such a fine mood,” interrupted Sir Irving Tray.
“Says who?” wondered Turk E. Platter. And the bickering went on. Everybody had their say - again. It wasn’t enough they did it behind his back, but now, in front of the Maker, they carried on so. It was more than the Potter could take. As they carried on he silently pulled out Chamber Pott and filled him with boiling water from the caldron over the fire. Then, one by one, he took the service and dipped them in the scalding water. He gently scrubbed each piece with a rag and soap until they were clean. There was plenty of complaining. The water was too hot, the soap too harsh, the rag too common. Goblet was upset about losing his precious red wine stains.
When he was done, the Potter placed each piece on the counter in front of him. As he looked at each he could see his reflection in them. As he gazed, they realized, some with shame, that they had esteemed themselves more highly than they ought.
He had made them what they were.
No one was any more valuable than the others. Even Chamber felt a renewed sense of purpose as the potter dumped the water out of him. In the Potter’s hands he had just been used to help cleanse the rest of them. They all, too, saw his purpose, and the fact that they could not serve without his aid. They all had to work together. They all had just one Master to serve and each had a unique way to do it. Yes, some were more visible than others, some prettier, and some we don’t talk about, but all have a part in their service to Him. As long as they do it for him and not their own glory, no one is more important to the Master.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. I Corinthians 12