Future Shape Of Sacred Communities? 4
Another factor that will shape sacred communities in the future is Incorporation
Too often the structures of sacred communities reflect and reinforce the dominant and dominating top-down constructs of society that ‘quench’ the Spirit (1Thess.5.19) and contain any spirited bottom-up quest for self-control.
But Jesus sent his disciples out ‘two by two’, to look for a third person, the ‘person of peace’, with whom the disciples could develop creative ‘trey-way cadres’, to subvert institutional hierarchies and nurture networks of mutuality. (Luke10.15)
It takes one person to constitute a ‘individual’. It takes two persons to constitute a ‘couple’. It takes at least three persons to constitute a ‘trey-way cadre’. And only a ‘trey-way cadre’ creates the ‘possibility’ of developing a counter-cultural community that can embody the Spirit.
One person can make a point about the love of God. Two persons can make a connection with regard to the love of God. But it takes three persons to create a space that can embody the Spirit of the counter-cultural love of God incarnated in Christ. Jesus says ‘where two or three of you are gathered in my name there am I, in the midst of you,’ (Matt.18.20) in the space you create.
People can hear something of God’s love when a single person talks about it. They can see something of God’s love when a couple of people relate tenderly to one other. But they can feel something of God’s love when they step into a community of people who embody the Spirit of God’s love and they experience the reality of that love themselves inside the counter-culture.
Every fortnight over the last thirty years a ‘cadre’ from our community have hosted a community meal with up to fifty of the most marginalised and disadvantaged people in our city. And each year, over the last eight years, during Ramadan a group of fifteen Muslims from AMARAH – Australian Muslim Advocates for the Rights of All Humanity – have joined us. As always lovely stories are share because in this place people experience the reality of the counter-culture of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, tolerance and self-control.