Over the past few weeks, I have been making good use of the ‘Marketplace’ function on Facebook (not dissimilar to Gumtree), as we farewell some of our older furniture to make way for some new pieces, and also getting rid of some of the stuff that has sat in cupboards for years.
This led to a few people at one of our church locations thinking that they too could go through a similar process with some of the old church items that have laid around for what seems like forever because like all people, we seem to hold some sort of sentimental value on ‘things’.
It made me think a bit deeper as to why that is the case? What stories do we tell ourselves that make us think that even if I get a new phone, I need to hang on to the old one, and maybe even the one before that in case they all break at once (even though I have never had one break). Or, that was the book that great grandad gave to my child (who just turned 56), and is now actually so faded and worn it can’t be read. You would have your own stories that you tell yourself when holding onto old items too. .
We hold onto these ‘things’ for a whole lot of supposedly good reasons.And in the church, sometimes it is even worse because old Mrs. such-and-such donated that item. But someone once told me, “a hearse does not have a towbar.”
What did they mean when they said that? You can’t put all of your ‘stuff’ and ‘things’ in a trailer and tow it to your grave (and you definitely can’t take it to heaven).
So why do we seem to accumulate more and more ‘things’?
I wonder if it is because we have our security in the wrong place. Because if we obtain our identity from Jesus, then our security is in Him, and in Him alone. Our approval and welcome from the Father doesn’t rest on our character or our actions, but on Jesus and what he has done for us. Plus nothing.
So maybe we need to clear out some of the old things in order to make way for more grace, more gospel, more Spirit led love and good works, living in the security of what Jesus has done for us on the cross.
That’s my challenge for this week – maybe it might be yours as well?…
In Christ’s Service,