A Cup of Tea for Advent

Christmas teapotAs the hectic pace of the holiday season ramps up, I encourage you to take a (short!) break from the shopping and decorating and sit down with a nice nourishing cup of tea. And when you do, spend some time reflecting on the teapot.

What makes a teapot a teapot?  Your answer might start with the materials it’s made of. The picture above is a ceramic teapot, so it probably started with clay baked in a kiln. Then some kind of glaze and paint.

But what if I took this teapot and broke it into pieces. It would still be ceramic, glaze, and paint, right? But would it still be a teapot? Looking at it another way, what if I took a solid lump of clay and baked it in a kiln, glazed it and painted it with this same Christmas image. Would it still be a teapot? No.

The missing element in both these scenarios is the empty space inside of it. That’s what makes it a teapot. The place that holds water and tea leaves. The part that bubbles and comes to life. Whistling when it’s ready. The empty space is critical for the teapot to fulfill its purpose.

Just like the teapot, we have an interior space within us, and that’s where our soul lives.  What happens in that space defines our relationship with God. It’s where our spiritual journey takes place. The empty space (and what we do with it) is what makes us children of God.

And so we are called to come to the Cross as empty vessels to be filled up with God’s love and grace. In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he writes: “But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us—is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own.” (2 Corinthians 4:7)

We may claim the outside surface…the walls of the pot…but the space inside belongs to God. And we want to keep our interior space as empty as possible so that God can fill us.

Fr. Anthony Ndang Ndichia, a missionary priest in Africa writes: “For God to enter our lives fully, we must be ready to create space: longing opens the heart to receive. The door to our inner self, heart, and mind must be opened: ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be.’ God needs openings in our lives to get through to us, to communicate with us, to stretch us to greater growth, to nourish us, to revitalize and renew us with love.”

Spend some time thinking about how you might be more like the empty teapot.  How will you make room for Jesus during this Advent season? In doing this, the weeks leading up to Christmas become an exciting time of possibility.

What is God going to do with the interior space of your soul?  How will He fill you up?

5 thoughts on “A Cup of Tea for Advent

  1. Beautiful Sheri. It is SO easy to get filled up, leaving no space for GOD. I love your image of the teapot since there are so many tea drinkers here. I’ll think of your analogy each time I put the pot on. SInce we’re over here, I had to get alot of my Christmas stuff done early so I could ship things out. I am going to try and use the extra time to reflect on the importance of this season and keep space in order to allow God to fill it. Miss you dearly, my friend!

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  2. So well said, and really important to think about this time of year. And even though I don’t drink tea 🙂 I’ll still follow this advice! I don’t like when Christmas starts to feel like a huge task to get done. It really takes effort to step out of that thinking and remember what’s really important.

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  3. I love this at this time of the year! I am sitting with my cup of straight now getting ready to contemplate Adv t and all it holds after the candle of Hope was lit! God Bless, Anita

    On Dec 4, 2017 10:09 AM, “Hearing God’s Whisper” wrote:

    > sheridursin posted: “As the hectic pace of the holiday season ramps up, I > encourage you to take a (short!) break from the shopping and decorating and > sit down with a nice nourishing cup of tea. And when you do, spend some > time reflecting on the teapot. What makes a teapot a ” > Respond to this post by replying above this line > New post on *Hearing God’s Whisper* > A Cup of Tea for > Advent by > sheridursin > > [image: Christmas teapot]As the hectic pace of the holiday season ramps > up, I encourage you to take a (short!) break from the shopping and > decorating and sit down with a nice nourishing cup of tea. And when you do, > spend some time reflecting on the teapot. > > What makes a teapot a teapot? Your answer might start with the materials > it’s made of. The picture above is a ceramic teapot, so it probably started > with clay baked in a kiln. Then some kind of glaze and paint. > > But what if I took this teapot and broke it into pieces. It would still be > ceramic, glaze, and paint, right? But would it still be a teapot? Looking > at it another way, what if I took a solid lump of clay and baked it in a > kiln, glazed it and painted it with this same Christmas image. Would it > still be a teapot? No. > > The missing element in both these scenarios is the empty space inside of > it. That’s what makes it a teapot. The place that holds water and tea > leaves. The part that bubbles and comes to life. Whistling when it’s ready. > The empty space is critical for the teapot to fulfill its purpose. > > Just like the teapot, we have an interior space within us, and that’s > where our soul lives. What happens in that space defines our relationship > with God. It’s where our spiritual journey takes place. The empty space > (and what we do with it) is what makes us children of God. > > And so we are called to come to the Cross as empty vessels to be filled up > with God’s love and grace. In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians he > writes: *“But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine > within us—is held in a perishable container, that is, in our weak bodies. > Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not > our own.”* (2 Corinthians 4:7) > > We may claim the outside surface…the walls of the pot…but the space inside > belongs to God. And we want to keep our interior space as empty as possible > so that God can fill us. > > Fr. Anthony Ndang Ndichia, a missionary priest

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  4. I’m reading this while drinking a cup of tea! I love the comparison and it’s such a great reminder. Merry Christmas to you and I pray for joy and peace for the family this Advent season!

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