The Crowded House Network has seven core commitments:
1) Proclamation of the Word
2) Reconciliation between each other and the world
3) Extending the Lord’s Table into all spaces
4) Being present with the least of these
5) Caring for children
6) Recognizing and empowering the gifts of all people for service
7) Living the Sermon on the Mount as our primary social ethic
Over the next seven weeks we will explore each of the commitments on the blog.
PROCLAMATION OF THE WORD
From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
– Jesus as recorded in Matthew 4:17
PROCLAMATION AND SANTA CLAUSE
A few days ago my daughter had a friend over from school. While I was folding laundry in my bedroom the girls were minding their own business playing with Legos in the living room.
In the middle of folding a pair of jeans, I heard my son’s voice ring through the house,
“Santa Clause is really your mom and dad!”
Few things have made me panic more than this great proclamation. All the fears of this situation ran through my head. Did my son just ruin Christmas for our friendly visitor? Would her parents hate my family from this day forward? Do I have to lie to a child that isn’t my own about the existence of Santa?
Why did my son decide to get logical and rational at five-years old and figure out on his own that Santa isn’t real?
Why did he decide to proclaim his new knowledge to the world?
For Phoenix, his newfound knowledge was good news that needed to be proclaimed to the world. It simply could not be contained.
There is something about good news that must be proclaimed to the world. When people get engaged, they tell friends and strangers alike. When a couple is expecting, they announce it to the world on social media so all may share in the joy.
Good news cannot be contained. It must be shared.
PROCLAIMING THE KINGDOM
When Jesus came into the world, he begins his ministry by proclaiming the Kingdom is near because he is present. The Kingdom is wherever the Lord is and Jesus announces his Lordship in and over the world. This is good news. The king, Jesus the Lord, is here with us.
Jesus cannot help but proclaim this good news and invite others into this reality. He calls people to repent and be part of his kingdom. The Kingdom of God is open to all who will enter.
This is good news. This cannot be contained. It must be shared.
PROCLAIMING FROM HOME TO HOME
In our churches we continue the practice of proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom come by going from house to house. We gather in homes weekly and share a meal around the table. In 1 Corinthians 11, the apostle Paul reminds us that by partaking in sacred meals together we are proclaiming the life, death and resurrection of Jesus – we are proclaiming the Kingdom come.
When The Crowded House gathers each month for a giant family meal, we proclaim to one another that we are all part of the same Kingdom. When we enter into community spaces, we share beverages and food with strangers. In doing this, we proclaim the good news of the Kingdom and invite strangers to meet the king.
This does not mean we neglect the verbal proclamation of the Kingdom come. It simply means we set the table, or open space, for the Kingdom to be discerned and received. Around the table we discern the presence of Jesus and direct our words and conversation to his presence.
A PROCLAIMING CHURCH
In everything The Crowded House Network does we make sure the Word is proclaimed. Through sacred meals in homes, backyards, and social spaces we proclaim the Kingdom come. Around the table we open space for the Kingdom to break through and guide our words to reveal this Kingdom. We are a proclaiming community. A storytelling community.
May our homes continue to be places of shared tables and sacred meals. May our feasting together proclaim the goodness of the Kingdom. May our presence together reveal the presence of Jesus to a world in need of good news.