My great aunt loved yard sales.
Whenever we came to visit, she would proudly show off her latest find. Some old piece of furniture that she had bought for next to nothing. Because it was in terrible shape.
When I was older, she showed me what she did with her finds. She had her own concoction that she used to strip the old paint and varnish off the wood. And even the glue from half-baked repair jobs.
Once it was stripped clean and taken apart, she would refinish the wood. Then steel wool everything. Until it was a smooth as velvet.
When it was done and put back together, you would never know that it came from a yard sale. And she had a house full of beautiful old furniture to show for it.
At first glance, the Church can seem to be all about rules and rituals. A bunch of “do-this-not-that.” Paired with a lot of odd ceremonies. But the seemingly weird mix of things that the Church does are not an end to themselves.
With my great aunt’s concoction, she didn’t keep it around just for the sake of having some. She mixed it up in small batches, for a specific purpose.
And so it is with the stuff that the Church does. It’s all there for a specific purpose.
It’s there to help us get rid of all of the old paint and varnish in our lives. To undo the damage that’s been done to us. And even our own half-baked repair work.
To prepare us to be put back together by the One who made us. To become the people we were always meant to be.