Future Shape Of Sacred Communities? 5
Another factor that will shape sacred communities in the future is Transformation
Jesus said that:
‘The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough.’ (Matt 13.33)
For the purposes of our discussion, I’d like to suggest we see the ‘yeast’ as the ‘sacred community’ and the ‘dough’ as the ‘wider society’. Note that the yeast only does its work when it is mixed into the flour to such a degree that you cannot tell the difference between the yeast and the flour. It is then – and only then – that it makes a difference. And what is the difference that it makes? It causes the whole milieu – into which it has been mixed – to rise!
According to this parable, a sacred community in the future will need to let go of the ‘shape’ of its distinct separate visible identity to merge with the wider society, in order to fulfill its role a dynamic invisible catalyst for transformation.
I am an elder emeritus for Servants, an incarnational mission in the slums of Asia. They ‘immerse themselves in the life of their (slum) communities’, ‘to seek God’s dream for their community, together with their neighbours’, by living with them, listening to them, learning from them and ‘respond(ing) to each unique context according to the leading of the Spirit with the particular gifts God has given each of them and their neighbours’.