Take Community

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means. – Luke 8:1-3

Jesus is in full swing of his ministry. He is traveling with friends. On missions, he is healing, teaching and stirring up the crowds. He is reaching celebrity status. A few verses later it says that there were so many people trying to crowd around Jesus that they almost crushed him. Nobody was pushing in for an autograph, they wanted to touch God.

To support and finance the whole tour was a group of women. They had evidently saved some money and were now taking care of Jesus and the twelve. They were financing the whole experience. This had to be an upside down picture of the culture of the day. It seems a great picture of community. A picture of give and take in context of community.

We speak and teach about community. It is part of what we are at exchange. We are a community of people who follow Christ and serve in his cause. I’d like to think that we do a great job at community. I’d like to believe that we connect with each other deeply. We don’t. we do OK, but not to the level we need to. We have to do better. We have to give community and take community.

I wonder how the disciples felt, eating food that the women purchased. Maybe they felt a bit weird. They were sitting at the feet of Jesus most of the day, not making any money. The women were unloading the bank account just to keep the boys fed. The disciples had to learn how to take. Why is it so hard for us? Someone offers to help us with something. “No thanks. I’m good. Wouldn’t want to put you out.” Maybe community is about putting others out when they offer.

I need to work on my take.

My baby sister was in town a few months ago (at 30, not so much a baby anymore). After an exchange gathering we all went out for pizza. She announced that she was buying for the ten of us. “Naw,” I said, “Let us pay. You don’t have to do that.” She snatched up the check and headed for the register. “Don’t block a blessing,” She said. Does my resistance to others block my blessing and experience of community? Certainly I can use some work on my giving community, but I need to be more aware of the take. Maybe a healthy community is one that is equally comfortable with both give and take. It seemed to work for Jesus, the disciples, and women. Who am I to argue?

God, allow me to knock down my pride and accept community and help from others. Help me to give and to take as part of a community following you and serving in your cause.

[tags]life journal, devotions, Luke, community Jesus, disciples[/tags]

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