A pot by any other name

We got rid of hundreds of small clay pots at church on Sunday. By ‘got rid of’, I mean sold, not destroyed!

Peter Baker | 19:55, Friday, 15 October 2010

The proceeds went to the Dalit Freedom Movement, who’s Director, the human rights campaigner, Dr Joseph De Sousa, preached at Highfields. The first Asian to do so.

I suppose that, like the pots he brought with him, which are designed to encourage people to pray for and support the emancipation of the 250 million who are slaves within the Hindu Caste system, he was a symbol of the changing global Church.

De Sousa was grateful for William Carey’s mission to India with the gospel in the 19th Century. I was grateful that he’d come back with good news for the spiritually poor of Britain. He was grateful for William Wilberforce’s slavery campaign. I was grateful that he was going to the Houses of Parliament this week to speak up for the poor of India.

God is at work through the gospel in the 2/3 Developing World to such an extent that, spiritually, the future belongs to India, China and Latin America – that’s where the real Church growth is and where the Missionaries, creativity, ground breaking ministry and energy is coming from.

And so on my study desk, next to Tigger, a Rubik’s Cube and an all singing and dancing teddy bear (!), I have a 3 inch red clay pot, to remind me to pray for the impact of the gospel in India among the untouchables. In the Hindu culture, these pots, once used by a Dalit, can never be used again and are smashed. Like the fall of their shadows, anything the Dalit touches is made unclean.

And as I pray, I remember the Saviour who had compassion on the leper in the Gospel and reached out his hand and touched him. And as I pray, I remember the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:7; that we have the treasure of the gospel in cracked pots to show that the real power is from God, not us. (That’s a free translation!).

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