While I do not know if it is, in fact, a universal practice to have church yard sales, it certainly is a significant tradition at nearly ever church with which I have been associated. And what a fascinating thing it is, too! People bring all kinds of things to a yard sale and is is wonderful that they are willing to share their extra with the church.
There are always interesting things and strange juxtapositions when people start bringing in their treasures for the sale, like a treadmill, rolltop desk and daybed in the Narthex. Not something you see every week.
Then there are other treasures as well……..
This is one absolutely amazing squirrel! He appears to have antlers and is eating a bunch of grapes. I’ve never seen anything like it!
Ultimately, what is wonderful about all of this is that after Saturday all of this will be converted into funds which will be used to sustain ministry at this church. Same thing that happens at churches around the country all the time.
Sometimes, it is hard to let go of our extra things in life. How many times have I thought that I should keep this extra whatever-it-is because someday I might break/lose the other four I have already? How often have I looked at the same items in a box at my house and remembered some funny story or important person that the item brought to my mind? Countless times! We do not want to let go of the security that things provide. But, perhaps most of all, we hold tight to these things so that we may hold tight to the people and the memories that are so tenuously attached to them.
Letting go of things is letting go of people. Letting go of memories. There is something particularly healing about letting them go at the church. Yes, the ministries that are supported are a good cause, but it is more than that. The truth is we must let things die so that they might be resurrected. Crazy as it may sound, leaving our things–our possessions, the vessels of our long-clutched memories–at the church seems to emphasize the resurrection end of that truth. They and we go on to new life.