This is a spiritual life lesson titled “The Potter’s Hands,” using pottery and the ceramic process as a reference point. This is the final installment in the Pottery Lesson Plan For Kids series. Please reference the Introduction, Part 1, Part 2 , and Part 3 .
What You Need
The Potter’s Hands Handout (cut out the Bible verses in advance)
Pottery or ceramic water pitcher
Additional pottery vessels – vase, bowl, jar, teapot, etc. (optional)
When I taught this part of the lesson, I found myself using the handout as a guide instead of reading it word for word. I tried to engage the kids and teach as the Lord led me – I wish I remembered everything I said so I could add it to the handout! But, He will lead you, too, as you minister in your particular situation.
The Potter’s Hands – Pottery Lesson For Kids Part 4 is available as a PDF download (click the link). You can also read it below. I welcome your suggestions and comments, please feel free to leave them at the end of this post!
The Potter’s Hands
A Useful Vessel
In pottery, we mold and press into shape the clay into a vessel or some other form. What different kinds of dishes and other forms could we make? Right, we could make a bowl, vase, jar, water pitcher, or even a sculpture. Let’s talk about a water pitcher. Here is a finished water pitcher, ready to be used to serve water.
After molding and shaping the clay into a pitcher using the pottery wheel or other method, we refine and prepare the pitcher for glazing. Do you know what refine means? That’s right, it means to remove impurities or to improve something.
In pottery this is done through what is call bisque firing in the kiln at a very high temperavture. Can anyone guess how hot the kiln gets? I fired my kiln to 1945 degrees (Cone 04) for a bisque firing! That is much, much hotter than your kitchen oven’s highest temperature.
A glaze is then added to the water pitcher by brushing, pouring or dipping. It is then fired again, usually at an even higher temperature. This melts the glaze and make it adhere to the clay. I am going to fire the pottery you glaze today at a temperature of over 2000 degrees! The glaze makes the pitcher beautiful, but also useful. Without the glaze, it couldn’t hold water, and it wouldn’t be much of a water pitcher, would it?
Have you ever heard that God wants to use us for His glory, to serve others, or to do His will? (Wait for answers.) Do you think they mean that God wants to use us like we use an object such as our water pitcher, without a relationship? No? I don’t either!
In life, God wants to mold us and refine us so that we are beautiful on the inside, and also useful. But, not useful in the same sense that we use things, like the water pitcher. He very much desires to have a personal relationship me and with each one of you. God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross so that He could forgive and save us from our sins and have a relationship with us. God wants to live in us and make us into the kind of people who can love others with the love of Christ.
A good, long-term relationship grows over the years and changes. Sometimes you may feel far from Him, but He is actually always close to you – in fact, He is in you. The Bible says that once a person is saved, he or she is indwelled by the Holy Spirit. What does indwelled mean? That’s right, it means He lives in you!
Sometimes people talk about how “they have been through the fire.” Do you know what that means? Yes, they mean that they have been through a difficult time or trial. We can compare that to putting the water pitcher in the hot kiln. While God is helping us through the hard times in life, He is helping us to learn how to cooperate with the Holy Spirit to love other people and live good lives.
Let’s read a few Bible verses that relate to our lesson. Who would like to read one? (Cut out the verses below and let each of the kids read one if they want to.)
1 Peter 1:5-8 (The Message)
God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all – life healed and whole. I know how great this makes you feel, even though you have to put up with every kind of aggravation in the meantime. Pure gold put in the fire comes out of it proved pure; genuine faith put through this suffering comes out proved genuine. When Jesus wraps this all up, it’s your faith, not your gold, that God will have on display as evidence of his victory. You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don’t see him, yet you trust him – with laughter and singing.
1 Corinthians 3:12-14 (NIV)
For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
Romans 9:20-21 (NIV)
But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
Isaiah 64:8 (The Message)
Still, God, you are our Father. We’re the clay and you’re our potter: All of us are what you made us.
2 Timothy 2:20-21 (The Message)
In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets – some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing.
1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (The Message)
You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.
Galatians 5:16-18 (NIV)
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NIV)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.