A broken pot on a street in Ferguson

We are the clay, and you are our potter; We are all the work of your hand.

wheel copyThese words from Isaiah echo Genesis, in the second chapter when God created the first human being from the dust of the earth. In Hebrew, the first human is called A-dam, the word for man. He is shaped from the earth, which in Hebrew is A-dam-ah. In Hebrew we can hear the deep linguistic connection between humanity and the Earth: Adam, and Adamah. It is as if in English we said that God created the first earthling from the Earth. Clay is dug from the earth; it is a form of earth. The image in Isaiah is a creation image of the potter shaping the clay. When a pot is complete and yet not decorated or fired, it is actually called a “clay body.”

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