Peanut Butter Jars

I have a tradition. Almost every year I go to Wal-Mart before Christmas and buy Mollie, my wife, a new set of drinking glasses. I purchase a new set of glasses that match. Why do I do this? It all started years ago when our two children were at home and we’d have dinner together. We would sit down at the table and all the plates matched—all the salad bowls were identical, however, rarely did all of the glasses match. There may be a decorative glass, a mayonnaise jar or an old plastic Tupperware glass. Okay, so give me a break, I like things to be uniform; I like things that go with one another, in other words a matched set.

For years, Mollie has collected an elaborate set of fine crystal, which she stores in the basement; we rarely use it. I asked her years ago why we seldom use these dishes and she said “she was saving them for good.” If you measure good around our house by how often we’ve used her crystal dinnerware; it wouldn’t add up to a great deal of “good.”

So around Christmas I go to “Wally World” with a big smile, having grand thoughts of four glasses that match. How wonderful life becomes on that glorious occasion. The Steenson household has now been elevated to the level of the privileged. I am a happy camper.

Then, I don’t know how it happens, but somewhere around the last of March, somebody finishes off a jar of Peter Pan peanut butter. Then someone puts the jar in the sink. I not sure how the next step happens, but somebody puts the peanut butter jar in the dishwasher, and then it’s put in the cabinet with the rest of the glasses that match. We sit down to dinner, I say the blessing and look up in shock at three glasses that match and one Peter Pan peanut butter jar, with part of the old label still stuck on it.

There may be some of you that are like Mollie’s fine crystal, beautiful and almost priceless Christians—however, there are many of us that are just Peter Pan peanut butters jars, with part of the old worldly labels still stuck on us. I thank my God that Scripture doesn’t say we are something because of what we are. It says we are something because of what we contain. 2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. Your earthen vessel may be fine crystal; it may be a Peter Pan peanut jar or even a Styrofoam cup, but God is more interested in what’s inside that vessel, than the vessel itself.

As a teenager I learned to speed read. However, there is one thing that I refuse to speed read and that’s the Bible, God’s Word. One of my favorite Scriptures is Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: You just can’t speed read riches, mystery, Gentiles, Christ, glory and get the depth of what Paul is saying in this passage. Paul is saying that it is Christ in you that is the hope of glory. He’s saying that God is trying to tell us that Christ, the very presence of God’s Son, has set up His residence within us and He will never leave us or forsake us. Wow!

Because of this Scripture, I don’t really mind being a peanut butter jar as long as I’m filled with His glory, even if I don’t match the rest of the glasses. You see, God’s dinner table has a diversity of classes and an assortment of glasses.

Pastor Hal Steenson

3 thoughts on “Peanut Butter Jars

  1. Very good thoughts! The answer to our mismatches is that some become broken. (See “God’s Cupboard” on my blog, Thanks for the perspective, love it!

  2. Pastor, that was an inspired writing.
    I too, have some glasses, that are called ‘good.’ I decided to start using them on a regular basis when I was told I had stage IV cancer, three years ago. I still struggle with treatments, but it’s a pleasure to sip my juice from a fine cup. But even better is the idea that I’ve decided life is ‘good’ all the time. I saw a saying years ago, paraphrased it said; ‘Life without Christ is living death, and even death with Christ means life. Every time I use the ‘good cup,’ that saying comes to mind.

    • My Brother Michal,
      Mollie and I will be praying for you and thank you for inspiring us with your faith. The 3ABN pastoral Staff is always here for you should you need special prayer.
      Keep the Faith,
      Your Friend, Hal

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