Why have a garage sale? Before this weekend, I had one reason--to get some extra money. And to be honest, it felt pretty good as we counted over $100 at the end of our garage sale on Saturday. But it's funny. The thing that thrilled me most had nothing to do with money. I don't know about you, but we live in a nice little neighborhood filled with families and kids of all ages. Over the past couple years we have tried to get to know our neighbors, but we've noticed that most people keep to themselves; they prefer to stay inside, in their private, fenced off backyards. In some ways the private fence is a picture of our culture. It's a picture of how Americans want to be left alone and and not bothered by others. Yet, deep inside we know that all people are searching for real community. All people are searching to belong.
We found out Saturday that a simple garage sale can bring people out of their backyards and into their frontyards. We found that a simple garage sale can bring people out of their privatized lives into the front porches of neighborly conversation. And we found out that the greatest reason for having a garage sale is not just getting money, but getting people closer to the gospel.
Because of a garage sale, Jaime and I had many good conversations with our neighbors. For some, it was a first step into their lives. For others it was a next step into deeper conversation. And for one family in particular, it was an opportunity to see how God had prepared their hearts to want to come to our church before we could even invite them!
Why have a garage sale? I admit it's nice to have some extra spending money, but Paul's words remind me of the bigger reason, the reason why we do all things. He says, "I do it all for the sake of the gospel that I may share with them in its blessings" (1 Cor. 9:23). So do yourself a favor this summer and have a garage sale for the sake of the gospel.