Who here has to go through their clothes sometimes, say every year or so? Maybe it’s something your parents make you do…. [ask for a show of hands]
So I’m wondering: How do you decide what to keep and what to get rid of? [Take responses. If needed, suggest ones such as: Does it fit? Is it all worn out and ratty? Perhaps you never wore it anyway.]
Tell me about what’s left in the closet when you’re done: are there older things? Newer things? Both? [Suggest that there is usually a mix of both.]
Switching gears: does anyone remember how long ago this church started? [Remind them the age of the congregation. Ours was 200 years!]
Think about what those people had in their closets. Were their clothes similar to ours? Different? [Suggest examples of things that were surely similar to what we still wear, eg. mittens in winter.]
Those people came here on Sundays. They heard sermons, they prayed prayers and read readings. They sang hymns and taught children what they felt was important.
The things they believed, their religious ideas—are kind of like the clothes in our closets. Like with our clothes, we need to look at our beliefs every so often and ask ourselves if they still fit. Perhaps they’re too worn out to wear in public any more. Maybe there’s something we borrowed from someone else that we never really used anyway. We want our beliefs to reflect who we really are on the inside, so we keep the ones that still fit, still work, and still have meaning for us when we wear them. Like our clothes, we want our beliefs to change a little with us as we grow and change, so that they always remain true to who we are.