(Copyright: PARABLES OF THE KINGDOM by Leona Choy)
The rumor had been circulating around Kiln Kingdom for several weeks. MASTER POTTER would be coming soon to pick out one of His finished vessels for an especially honored purpose. It was whispered that The Treasure Itself would be put into one of their containers. Heated discussion and speculation went on among the vessels as to the nature of The Treasure Itself. Would it be gold nuggets? Fine wine? Precious jewels?
Pot Shelf in Finishing Hall was bustling with activity. Vessels were stored there awaiting job allocation. Each vessel was busy polishing itself to mirror shine and buffing its colors to brilliance.
Tall Jardinière drew himself up to his exalted utmost and looked down on the rest of the vessels on the shelf. "You all don't stand a chance to be chosen. Everyone looks up to me. My stature alone would enhance The Treasure Itself, whatever it is."
Michael Milkglass rocked back and forth on the shelf for attention. "I'm more suitable. You can't see through me like you can through Carl Clearglass. One glance at him and you can tell whether he's full or empty. I like to keep people guessing."
Aggressive Crystal Cutglass, who loved to nudge her sharp points against her neighbors just to hear and admire her melodious "ping" on contact, put in with "I'm far out of everyone's class. Just think of all the skilled craftsmanship that went into my appearance. Besides, it’s who you know that counts. I'm related to the Park Avenue debutante, Sylvia Stemware. Surely I'm more worthy of being selected than you all.”
“You talk about class,” sniffed Victoria Vaase, “the charm of my oriental carvings and delicate colors make me the most esteemed container for The Treasure Itself. My ancestry will stand me in good stead. The famous Cathay Cloisonné was my maternal grandmother, and her line goes back to the emperors of China.”
"None of you has a handle like me," bragged Peter Pitcher. “And I have such a beautiful full lip. I'm sure to be picked."
Styro Foamcup shuffled back into a corner, not wanting to be noticed in such elegant company. His comment was hardly audible. "I know I'm just a nobody. I'm even disposable and wouldn't be worthy to carry The Treasure Itself.
Plastic Measuringcup standing next to him, shrugged his shoulders. "I feel that way too. People always think I'm comparing them against myself, so they shy away from me."
Pop Bottle, one of the oldsters, who insisted on wearing his cap all the time, was preoccupied with polishing his trademark. "Actually, I'm already full of ‘The Real Thing’ so I'm not interested."
Cracked Pot and Leaky Coffeecup both declined to engage in the vanity discussion and declared self-consciously, "Obviously we aren't in the running. We couldn't even hold The Treasure Itself very long if we were chosen. Why did MASTER POTTER make us less than perfect?” There was a hint of grumble in their mumbles.
Genuine Antique, also known as Aunt Gennie, kept aloof from the rest of the vessels in her exclusive corner. She regarded herself as too valuable to get near the others lest she be nicked or scratched. "Just wait and see," she murmured to anyone within earshot. "I'll be chosen for my seniority."
Everyday Earthenvessel looked thoughtfully from one to the other of the contestants engaged in ego debate. What was the point of joining such a discussion? There was nothing special about him to brag about. He was perfectly common, ordinary, and plain. Dozens of his kind of vessel stocked The Shop. MASTER POTTER would have no reason to give him a second glance.
The controversy came to a sudden halt at the sound of a key being turned in the lock. The door swung open and a blaze of Light nearly blinded the vessels. They had not realized how dark it had been in The Shop until the door opened. A figure was barely visible in the diffusion of Light. But all knew it was MASTER POTTER, whom none had ever seen distinctly, but whose hand had fashioned them all. Although they couldn't see His eyes, they knew He was scanning the shelf to observe and inspect them. MASTER POTTER stood silently for what seemed to all to be a very long time.
The suspense was unbearable. Had He heard their pompous boasting? Under His gaze, the vessels stood embarrassed and silent on the shelves, no longer daring to commend themselves or brag about their distinctive properties. They felt somehow leveled to a common denominator: things created, standing before their Creator. None dared either to complain about his own nothingness or flaunt his supposed somethingness. He had made them all as He saw fit and they were suitable for their unique functions.
As the blaze of Light receded somewhat, they could see that MASTER POTTER held in His hand a rugged, wooden bucket filled with Something. Instinctively they knew that, whatever it was like, this was The Treasure Itself!
They had supposed IT would be carried in some splendid expensive container. As a matter of fact, the wood from which the bucket was fashioned seemed to be from a stable for housing animals, roughly hewn.
MASTER POTTER spoke, His voice low but strong, gentle yet commanding. "All of you are my precious handiwork, whether vessels unto honor or dishonor. My House is large and various vessels are needed. Vessels are made to receive and then to give forth to others. I never make vessels only to be on display as ornaments.
“There is only one qualification for receiving The Treasure Itself." He paused, as all the vessels held their breaths and listened intently.
"To be useful to Me and prepared for every good work, and to receive The Treasure Itself, your vessel must be clean."
Upon hearing that, each of the vessels from Gary Goldgoblet, the most valuable, to the cheapest, Styro Foamcup, felt utterly contaminated. All believed themselves to be completely unworthy to receive The Treasure Itself and were ashamed of their bragging and bravado.
Not leaving them in the morass of their hopelessness, MASTER POTTER continued, "None of you is unsoiled, no, not one. Nor can you cleanse yourselves. So I have provided for your cleansing. The One Called Alongside To Help is here with Me to cleanse the vessel chosen to receive The Treasure Itself."
The vessels all jiggled and quivered with anticipation now, waiting for the grand announcement of the one chosen.
His declaration was clear and simple. "You are ALL chosen! Each of you will receive IT! And the greatest among you will be the one who serves others."
Stunned silence gave way to joyful, jingling, tingling excitement at the startling news.
"The Treasure Itself is The Water of Life. I will give it first to Everyday Earthenvessel as a symbol that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of Me and not from you." A gasp followed His announcement. All eyes turned toward lowly, humble Earthenvessel.
"After Earthenvessel receives, he shall immediately share The Treasure Itself with Pitcher, who will share IT with Crystal, who will share IT with Michael, who will pass IT on to Measuringcup, on and on until all of you on every shelf in every room of every house in Kiln Kingdom shall be full to overflowing with The Treasure Itself."
"But won't The Treasure Itself run out before we have all received? If we share with the others, we won't have anything left for ourselves?" blurted Victoria Vaase.
"The Treasure Itself, The Living Water that I give you, shall never run out. It shall become in each of you a well of water springing up. The more you overflow to other vessels, the fuller you will become. By sharing, you lose nothing--you continue in your own fullness," MASTER POTTER explained.
"It's a miracle!" gasped Pop Bottle.
MASTER POTTER turned toward him. "Of course it is." Then, looking squarely at Pop, he cautioned, "Be sure you first empty yourself of what you mistakenly thought was ‘the real thing’ before you receive The Living Water."
Then, addressing Cracked Pot and Leaky Coffeecup, "Hurry and share your Living Water that none be lost. And in receiving and sharing, you yourselves will be sealed and healed and made whole."
As MASTER POTTER concluded, He began generously to pour The Treasure Itself, The Living Water, into Earthenvessel from the humble but holy wooden bucket.
Earthenvessel had to bow to pour IT into Peter Pitcher, who bowed to let IT overflow to Crystal Cutglass and on into the other vessels who pressed around eagerly, inviting "Fill me, fill me that I may overflow!"
And so it was that Kiln Kingdom received The Treasure Itself and supplied all the vessels, great and small, costly and common, those newly made and those that had been in storage for some time, with The Living Water forevermore.
1 Cor. 1:27-29; 2 Cor. 4:7; John 4:10, 14; Rom. 12:3, 4; Matt. 20:20-28