I typically need to remind myself that there is a blessing in having stuff. When I step on a Lego with my barefoot, trip over the corner of a misplaced ottoman or bang my head on a ceiling lamp that is too low, I want to throw everything away. But having stuff is a problem I’m blessed to have. Too many people in our world and in our neighborhood do not have the stuff I have. Many spend their months trying to decide which bill to pay, which meal to skip or how they can make their old car last longer. Having stuff means I have resources at my disposal that others do not have. But it also means I run the risk in having stuff overwhelm, distort, and disrupt my life, relationships and spirituality.
As I prepare to lead a mid-week Lenten series on the Small Catechism, I have been reading books on decluttering. Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, Ruth Soukup’s Unstuffed, Stuffocation, Spark-Joy, A Decluttering Handbook for Creative folks, and The Joy of Leaving Your Stuff All Over the Place, are on my nightstand. Each book promises that we have the power to gain order and control over our lives. We can, through certain acts and habits, clear the clutter from our homes, relationships and soul. By looking at what we have, we can see ourselves more clearly.
When Luther put together The Small Catechism, he was offering parents and heads of households an opportunity to look at what they have. They, and we, have Jesus. Through the Ten Commandments, Apostles’ Creed, the sacraments and prayers, entire families could discover Jesus’ love for them and how Jesus’ love changes everything. This Lent we’re going to see how the The Small Catechism is more than just a book we teach to teenagers. It’s a way to discover Jesus and live out our faith in a very real way.
See you in church!