I Gotta Get My Things
My daughters have started to use the kitchen pantry as their play house. Yesterday evening when I told them it was time for baths before bed, my daughter responded, "Wait Daddy, first I gotta get my things." She and her sister proceeded to pull out dolls, toys, unicorns, and puppy purses and attempt to hold all of the toys at the same time so they could bring them upstairs. The whole process took a few minutes, and as necessary as my daughters believed these toys were, I knew they were not needed for a bath. For this mission, they literally did not even need the clothes on their backs.
Any parent who has tried to corral young children into the car, into bed, or into the bath will likely understand how many procrastinations and extra stuff the child will see as important that is actually not at all needed.
This experience led me to reflect on Jesus' instructions to his apostles when he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God. He said, "Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts; no sack for the journey, or a second tunic, or sandals, or walking stick" (Matthew 10:9-10). I imagine Jesus speaking similar words to our domestic churches. When it is time to evangelize, time to witness to our faith to our neighbors, we can easily start to come up with excuses. I wonder if Jesus sees our excuses for not evangelizing, the stuff we think we need to be successful at preaching the Gospel, like I see my daughter's excuses for not doing what I've asked, the stuff she thinks she needs to go to the bathtub.
It's not that these things aren't good. I actually enjoy seeing my girls playing together so nicely and it's entertaining to see them play with their toys. However, I hope they do not let their toys distract them from the mission I give them. Similarly, we cannot let the stuff of life hold our domestic church back from declaring the kingdom of God is here!