10th August 2022

I’ve been attempting some decluttering at home. Marie Kondo, Japanese “organising consultant” has written books on the subject and suggests you give house room (beyond items you need) only to objects that “spark joy”.

Words in a sermon from a visiting preacher some years ago must have made an impression on me because I still remember some of what was said now. We were challenged to think about what we needed to give up at Tyndale, to make space for the new things God might have in store for us as we prepared to be joined by our new minister, Michael Docker. The context was the Old Testament story of the Israelites making a golden calf as an idol to worship, when Moses was away. I think I recall that the thought was that perhaps there’s a risk that we hang onto some familiar activities or ways of doing things, for the wrong reasons.

What decluttering might we need to do in our life together at Tyndale as we anticipate our new minister joining us? Will God “spark joy” in us as we seek to do this?

I’m not sure Paul would have thought of it in these terms (?!) but one could see his words to the Philippians as encouraging a little decluttering and ordering of our minds: “Whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Hopefully I haven’t pushed the decluttering metaphor too far for you!

Ruth Allen