Passing the latest charity shop to open on Guide Post Square yesterday, caused me to reflect on the growing trend of embracing and reusing previously used goods. In the case of this shop, items of furniture are the goods that are now on offer to the community.
In Finland, there has been a rise of a network of giant non-profit reuse stores, such Kierrätyskeskus in Helsinki. These shops sell all kinds of secondhand goods including furniture, but also have sections devoted to repairing and upcycling (creating furniture and clothes out of recycled parts). These shops have been a big success with customers saying they not only like the low prices but the sense of helping the environment. When I was last in the US and shopping in a shop called Patagonia, I was highly impressed by their generosity to repair for free (and on the spot) my quilted jacket which had a small rip in it (and which wasn’t their own brand). They were happy to do this, as they encouraged sustainability and re-use, over simply making a new sale. Finally today, one of the many articles I read surrounding Prince Charles’ 70th birthday (and whom I was photographed with many years ago - see below!), spoke of his own commitment to repair and mend, whereby he asks his tailors to save offcuts from the suits he has made, so as to repair them later on (tho’ perhaps to talk about frugality in the same breath as personal tailors might seem a bit ironic).
For the sake of the planet, and for our pocket too, all this makes a lot of sense. However perhaps when it comes to our spiritual life, I wonder if we can afford to be a little more extravagant? After all, Jesus spoke of not patching up old wineskins, and spoke of a new life, rather than a patched up old one. Indeed last Sunday, as we continued to follow our series looking at holding confidence in Christ, we reflected on the full and perfect plan God has for us all, whereby all will recognise Jesus as Lord of all in our new heaven and earth (and with our new spiritual bodies too!!).
This Sunday, we look forward to formally welcoming Rosalia into our church family, as we share in her baptism. May we old and young alike, fresh or patched up, look to be renewed and refreshed as we join together to praise our God who continues to offer us new life in Jesus.