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A bucket full (by Shark Bait)

Ah, Sharkbait! He joined the Fellowship of the Traveling Smartypants because of a challenge from me, and I’m so glad that he did. He is a deep thinker for such a small fish, and he’s a lawyer that would be perfectly happy to be at the bottom of the ocean.

Here’s a bit of his bio:
What am I? How does one answer that question? I write, but am I a writer? I study, but am I a student? I teach, but am I a teacher? I am a lay minister, public speaking trainer, cell group leader, and much more. And in my spare time I am a lawyer to fund all my other activities. But above all, I want to be Faithful In Serving HIM. So all I reveal about myself is that I want to be a FISH.

I love the water. I mean really love it. From a young age I was always in the water and swimming around. I suppose it made choosing a fish as an avatar a bit inevitable. Which is rather ironic, because I am really not a very good swimmer. Not that I’m in imminent danger of going under for the third time in my bath tub you understand, but I have a deal with the sea. I don’t swim out into it alone, and it doesn’t try to drown me.

But I digress.

I really love water, and especially the sea. I love going to the beach, and growing up I had lots of toys for building sandcastles and such like. But my favourite was the simple plastic bucket; because once you had made your sand castle you had to collect the water from the sea to fill the moat. You did have a moat on your sandcastle didn’t you? Of course you did. So I used to collect buckets of water from the sea, and play with them.

You can tell a lot about the sea from just that one bucket. You can see that the water is wet, and tastes salty. You know what it smells like, and if you put your hand in, you know it burns any open cuts. If you took the water home and looked under a microscope, you would be able to see some of the organisms that live in the sea, and even analyse the water for chemical content.

You can tell a lot about the sea from that single bucket of water.

But it won’t tell you how unbelievable HUGE the sea is, or how deep. The mind-numbing depths or the amazing and scary animals that exist there. The strength of a single wave, or the distance a single current can carry a leaf.

In short, the bucket can show you what the sea is like, but it will be only a glimpse of the full potential. But boy does it make you want to go out there and swim in that ocean.

For us, God is like that infinite ocean. Wild, and unknowable. Yet we have Jesus, sort of like a bucket of God. A tiny glimpse of who God is, and what he is capable of, but never the whole story, just as much as we can comprehend. We see God in what we know of Jesus, but we also realise from him, just how little we actually know.

But Jesus was also just a plastic bucket, filled with God. He was fully God, but he was also fully human. What made him unique was not the plastic bucket, but the water it contained. In our effort to understand what it meant for him to be fully God, we need to learn how we can be fully human. How we can take on the nature of Christ, who was able to be the perfect plastic bucket, not because his plastic was better than ours, but because of how he was filled with the perfect water. We need to be Jesus in the world, showing people God within us. We need to be the perfect plastic bucket that Jesus was teaching us to be, not so that we can be filled, but by being filled.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go visit the sea again, and look for a re-fill. See you on the distant shore.

For more from Sharkbait, visit him at Shark Bait’s Reef