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“Getting” Communitas

We go through great effort to help people understand Communitas, who we are, what we do, why we do it, how we do it.  We do a lot of disclaimers in an effort to say things in a clear context that does not wound or offend others, saints and those who do not hold our worldview of the Living God.  Yet, at times, the best people to “say it” are outsiders.
The CRM Lent Devotional (which I contribute to each year) has a super devo today.  It is well written by a [now former] member of one of our sister communities, in East London.  Her words, I believe, help those still wrestling understand.
Thank you Katharina!
CRM 2012 Lent Devotional

The Healing of the Blind Men and the Demoniac

CRM 2012 LENT DEVOTIONAL: DAY 23

MEDITATION

When I read this passage, what catches my eyes and heart over and over again is when Jesus saw the crowds and “had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)
As I read this, people from my life and neighborhood in Shoreditch—in the heart of East London—come to mind. I remember the faces of some of our local homeless people; or the regulars at the local pub where, as I get to know them, I hear life stories that are in need of Christ’s redemption; or some of my friends who are young, artistic Londoners, who seem to have it all together, but when you look closer you see they are searching for meaning and significance. In each diverse example, Jesus shows me his heart for them—his desire to protect, free, and fill them with his love and to show them the deep purpose for which they were created.
Immediately, I am aware of two dynamics at play here: first, most of these people, living in a post-Christian and post-modern context, are unlikely to ever search for answers by going to a church. And second, I, a follower and disciple of Jesus am in their lives already—either through a relationship or simply through the familiarity of seeing them on a regular basis.
My strong and firm conviction is that each of these people should be experiencing and getting to know Jesus through me and how I live. They should be experiencing the present and active Kingdom of God here and now through my life and Jesus Christ working in me. I want each person to know Jesus for themselves, to experience his deep, healing love and life-giving hope.
So, how does that happen?
The example Jesus portrays throughout the rest of this passage gives me the roadmap I need. Jesus went out to the people and built relationships by simply taking the time to talk to them. And then Jesus did three things simultaneously: he taught them from Scripture, he told them the good news about God’s Kingdom, and then he lived it out by bringing holistic healing and care to those in need.
It seems basic and yet, when I stop to think about what it actually means, it is revolutionary—a life-changing, world-impacting kind of revolutionary.
As I walk through this Lent season and reflect on this passage, my challenge to both myself and to you is… to see God’s Kingdom move tangibly in our midst.

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

1. What does it actually look like to see God’s Kingdom through your everyday life?
2. Who are those “harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” people in your life who you can intentionally and lovingly reach out to?

ABOUT THE WRITER

Katharina Friehe lived in London at the time of this writing. She spent a year there working with CRM-UK on church planting movements. Today Katharina lives in Moses Lake, Washington, working as an accountant with her family’s farm.
SCRIPTURE READING:
Matthew 9:27-38 ESV
And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.”When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.”

But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.

As they were going away, behold, a demon-oppressed man who was mute was brought to him. And when the demon had been cast out, the mute man spoke. And the crowds marveled, saying, “Never was anything like this seen in Israel.”

But the Pharisees said, “He casts out demons by the prince of demons.” And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”

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