Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." (Matthew 19:21)I have heard much effort put into interpreting this verse, and much of it centers on justifying us as we ignore what was said. Was Jesus talking to us? Was it meant for everyone? What about other examples of other people he spoke to? If everyone did this, wouldn't everyone be poor?
I'd very much like to see this trend turned around. If we took it as seriously as the instruction to pray, we'd sell something of ours daily. If we took it as seriously as the instruction to come meet together to encourage each other, we'd sell something of ours weekly. With consignment stores, eBay, garage sales and so forth, it may never have been easier to live out these particular words of Christ.
How should we envision this teaching of Jesus in our day?
Should each church have an annual garage sale with 100% of proceeds going to the needy? Should each child think of that as part of their Christian experience, that at least once a year they literally take a thing of theirs and sell it and give the money to the poor?
Should charitable causes have places where you can list your goods on eBay and they receive the proceeds? Should churches help make the arrangements?
Let me know if you all can envision other ways this might work out. I'd like to mull over some proposals and present them to some of the elders at our church.