Friday, July 10, 2009

Why give stuff away

Community Presbyterian's decision to hold a swap day as opposed to a yard sale came out of discussions about our relationship with material possessions. Here are our two motivating factors:

1. A rich man came to Jesus and asked him: “What must I do to have a rich, full and amazing life?” And Jesus said to him: “Go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor.” We live in a community where some people build additions onto their houses or rent garages to store all their stuff and where others lack the bare necessities for comfort. We spend millions of dollars and destroy the environment getting rid of stuff we’ve deemed useless and then spend millions of dollars more and further destroy the environment to acquire new stuff. So we give away stuff to achieve some of the balance our God desires for our lives, our communities and our natural world.

2. Our lives are encumbered. “Cumber” is an ancient word for all the things that weigh us down and drag us out. We can be encumbered by stuff, encumbered by financial debt, encumbered by worries or fears, encumbered by hurtful relationships, etc. Jesus Christ promises a life without cumber where, instead of weighing ourselves down, we trust in God to provide what we need, year by year, month by month, week by week, day by day, hour by hour. Most of us are not at a place of faith where we can fully let ourselves, our lives, our possessions go and trust totally on God, but this swap is one small step towards realizing God’s promise.

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