The Purpose of the Pot

The-Purpose-of-the-Pot

We are a unique pot in the Potter’s hand. As a minister’s daughter I was introduced to the beauty of God’s holiness early in life: campmeetings, Sunday school, Holy-Ghost-powered church services, and mighty men and women of faith were a continuum in my daily life. I recall the mature women in Christ as shining examples of honesty, strength, kindness, wisdom, beauty, and thriftiness. These women literally showed me true beauty and purpose, which went far beyond the superficial clay on the surface. There were trials, but through them all, I believed I was beautiful and important to God. Knowing and understanding that God knew me before I was formed in my mother’s womb was reassuring in the trials.

As I grew, my grandmother taught me to cook, sew, and create functional crafts. I learned to love working with my hands, and repurposing items from their original intent into another became a passion. Today, we are taking an ordinary terra-cotta clay pot and transforming it into an extraordinary centerpiece filled with delicious chocolate. We will see how a simple, clay pot can be used for an entirely different purpose, and we will infuse an illustration of God’s truth into the project as we progress. How beautiful is the transforming power of Jesus! He changes us from, “…darkness into His marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9 NIV).

A simple, clay pot…when most people look at a pot, like the one pictured, they may immediately assume or conclude the intent for this pot is to hold dirt. The dirt will be seeded with a seed of the sower’s choice. Then, the seed will be watered and fed until a plant or flower appears above the soil. Oftentimes we look at others (or ourselves for that matter) and think, “I am just a simple clay pot with no particular value other than holding dirt.” Outward appearance provokes from us assumptions and conclusions. After all, for what other purpose is a clay pot to be used?

I am reminded of the passage in Jeremiah 18:1-6 (NIV); verse 4 says, “…so the potter formed it [pot] into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.” We are clay in the Master Potter’s hands to be sure and He will use us for His glory as we yield ourselves to His intent. Verse 6 states, “…Like clay in the hand of the potter so are you in my hand…” 

This craft is quick and easy enough for little ones to help. Make this an opportunity to become one of those mighty mentors in your own home! After thoroughly cleaning the pots we will cook a delicious treat in them. Not only will there be a delicious treat inside but, we can decorate the outside with bright colors and sparkles to add to the festiveness of your table. 

Items needed:

  •  6 (3″x3.5″) untreated/unglazed terra-cotta pots (wash each pot thoroughly and dry completely)
  • Decorative ribbon (color of your choosing)
  • Glue

 

Ingredients for the cake:

⅓ cup oil plus more to brush pots
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ tsps baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
¾ cup buttermilk (if you don’t have buttermilk add a drop of lemon juice to regular milk)
¾ tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup crushed chocolate wafer cookies (approx. 10)
Rock-shaped candies
Mint sprigs for garnish

Ingredients for the chocolate frosting:

3 ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
12 tablespoons butter (1 ½ sticks)
½ cup milk (room temperature)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Sift sugar and cocoa together into a medium bowl. Whisk in butter, milk, and vanilla until smooth. Use immediately.

Instructions:

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush the inside of each cleaned flower pot with oil, and line with foil. Brush lining with oil, and lightly dust with cocoa powder.

2) Sift cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Add egg and yolk, ¾ cup warm water, buttermilk, oil and vanilla, mix on low speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.

3) Divide batter among prepared pots filling each about two-thirds full. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake, rotating sheet about halfway through until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cakes cool completely on sheet on wire rack.

4) Make frosting as directed.

5) Frost cakes with an offset spatula and sprinkle with crushed cookies. Top with candies and “plant” one mint sprig in each cake.

The next time you see an ordinary clay pot remember it is not ordinary, you are not ordinary, and no one around you is ordinary. The vessel was made extraordinarily as seemed best to HIM!

 

 

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