The Pastor's Peace - June, 2015
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In the beginning of May we held our now annual basement sale here at Beaver Church. I can tell you that it was a great success. We raised about $1,700 for the church, and just as importantly, we helped people remove some items from their life. My wife, Amelia, always points out that the sale is truly two ministries in one. We raise money for church, and help people unclutter their lives. This last ministry is perhaps the less obvious of the two, but one that is rather important. In our society today people tend to hold onto stuff. If we look at the landscape 30 or 40 years ago, storage spaces were not very common, where as now there are over 2.3 billion square feet of storage spaces in the country. Enough to fit every man, woman, and child in, despite the fact that houses are on average 40% bigger than they were in the 70s, and families are smaller.

Some people speculate that some items have gotten cheaper over time, and that there are more types of things to own, such as technology gadgets and computers, but I think it is something else. I fear that many of us have come to use stuff as a crutch. When we have a bad day or period in our life, we buy things to make ourselves feel better. I also feel that we have a hard time getting rid of stuff because we feel that there is scarcity in the world and we also give more value to material items in our life than they deserve. I have to say that even I fall into this habit now and again. In the last several basement sales, there were some items that used to belong to my mother that she donated to the sale. As I have been in one or two church member’s houses I have noticed them here or there. Of course they bring back memories of my childhood and for a second I think that maybe I should have asked for them. The thing I have to remind myself of, however, is that the items themselves are not what are special; the memories that they invoke are what have value. I don’t need a desk cluttering up my garage to have those memories. I can have them anytime I wish.

More importantly, if I think about what makes these memories special, I see that it is about the relationships of my past, certainly not the things of my past. Matthew 6:19-21 is a famous set of verses we all know reminding us not to store our treasures on earth, but rather in heaven. It seems that the issue of “stuff “ was present even in the time of Jesus.

If we look at our faith, we also know that we will not be reunited with any of our stuff in heaven, yet the people who were part of our lives will be joined with us in Christ for eternity. I constantly have people asking me about that, wanting reassurance that it is true, and that they will be reunited with their loved ones. I have not once had anyone ask me if they will be reunited with their favorite piece of furniture. We know deep down even without being told, what is of true importance in our life, what Christ leads us towards, and like every good ministry of the church, the basement sale leads us closer to that as well. I hope for 2016 you will be boxing up one or two more items for the next church basement sale. I know I will.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian