Who would have thought that a yard sale could a be a congregational bonding activity and a spiritual building exercise?
Lincoln Temple will hold another yard sale on Saturday, September 7th giving members a chance to clean out their closets and part with underused belongings. This is a good chance to practice letting go of items that could be of value instead of only discarding junk we wished we never received to begin with. To paraphrase a commonly read part of scripture, Jesus told the rich young man to sell all that he had and give the money to the poor. Participating in the yard sale does not even require HALF of that! In all seriousness, researchers, Christian scholars and subjective experiences have shown that people who intentionally give more and own less stuff seem to be “happier”. Mark Scarlett, the founder of ReIMAGINE, a center for integral Christian practice based in San Francisco, who has lived a life of radical intentional giving attests that letting go of possessions can be spiritually liberating and deepen Christian discipleship.
The God given talents that are put on display at a yard sale, especially a church yard sale are truly amazing. Last year we learned who had a talent for striking a bargain and who makes beautiful jewelry. Multiple members put their organizational skills, cooking skills and glowing personalities on display making it a fun event. Some members came out only to encourage one another and that thoughtfulness was appreciated.
In general, yard sales are easy ways for us to be good stewards of our God given natural resources (Genesis 2:15). By extending the life of home furnishings and shoes instead of discarding them in the trash we keep excess waste out of landfills. In theory, the more things we reuse, the less we buy and therefore less natural resources are used to ship and produce new goods. Last but not least, making good bargains available is the compassionate thing to do (Galatians 6:2). From college students to retirees, it is not always economically feasible to pay full price for home furnishing and quality gifts. Who doesn’t need an economic break at one time or another?
I truly hope that even at a yard sale people can see that we love God and our neighbors.