Previously in Capernaum (Or Your Town)

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February 9, 2021

Mark 1:32-34 (NIV)

32 That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered at the door, 34 and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was.

CONSIDER THIS

Are you ready for epiphanies today; for some fresh revelations of the obvious? Brace yourselves. You could be in for some. 

Previously in Capernaum. Imagine if that were the title of a show on Netflix. Even better, imagine if the name of your town were such a show. Everywhere Jesus gets involved is a story worth telling well—even on Netflix. So, previously in Capernaum, the sun was setting on the Sabbath. The minute the last glimmer of sun slipped out of sight, the whole town sprinted to Peter’s house. 

That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases.

This was unprecedented. THE WHOLE TOWN GATHERED AT THE DOOR. 

Brace for the epiphany. If Jesus was at your house, the whole town would gather at your door too. 

So why is the whole town not gathering at the door of your house (or mine)? 

It stands to reason, right? Jesus is not at our house. But isn’t he? Remember our core epiphany—as Jesus was, he is, and as he was and is, so we are becoming. So if we are becoming like Jesus, learning to think like Jesus thinks, walk as Jesus walked, do what Jesus did, wouldn’t it stand to reason that Jesus-in-us might attract at least a few desperate neighbors? 

Imagine a story where an ordinary family decided they wanted to take a risk on Jesus. They decided they would put a lamp on their porch with a green lightbulb. They wrote a note card and put it in every mailbox in the neighborhood saying, “Do you need healing of some kind? Our family would love to pray for you. We have a small lamp with a green lightbulb on our porch at 415 Bridge St. If the light is on, feel free to knock on the door. We will be glad to pray for your healing. It won’t be complicated or weird—just simple and full of faith.”

What might happen? Multiply that across every neighborhood in your town. Imagine it. There is a word for this kind of phenomenon: church. What if that became a thing? I mean, it works for donuts, right? 

Remember, this was Peter’s home. The deliverance from the evil spirit happened at the building called the synagogue. All this healing took place on the front porch at a home. 

Sure, people would need to be taught and trained up a bit. That’s how Jesus did it. It’s called discipleship. 

I find it interesting how the first place to get shut down in a global pandemic was the church. We didn’t really need to gather for more singing and sermons. I’m wondering why we didn’t go out to the parking lots of our property and set up drive-by stations where we could pray for people who had COVID-19 (or anything else). Picture the sign: “HAVE COVID-19? WE WILL PRAY FOR YOU HERE!” Imagine another line forming with a sign that said: “ESSENTIAL WORKERS LINE UP HERE: PRAYER WITH ANOINTING FOR POWER AND PROTECTION.” 

Maybe you saw this in your churches and towns. I never saw this or even heard about it. I saw many church services on TV though. And I’m not knocking that. I’m just saying if ever there were a moment for the whole town to gather at our door (in a fully masked and socially distanced kind of way, of course) it was the last twelve months. And imagine if Jesus started miraculously delivering people from COVID-19! The whole town would have gathered at the door. 

Why didn’t this happen? My short answer: we are asleep. I am describing what an awakening would look like. Not an uptick in religious activities, but street-level healing in Jesus’ name. Netflix is looking for shows like this. 

THE PRAYER

Almighty God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—my Lord Jesus Christ, I am aware but not fully awake yet. Come, Holy Spirit, and awaken me to the ordinary supernatural person and power of Jesus Christ in me to do all sorts of things in the course of my everyday life. Awaken me to the simple and revolutionary possibilities of what can happen when faith in you rises up in ordinary people like me. We need an awakening, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

THE QUESTION

How is the Holy Spirit stoking your imagination today? What would happen if Jesus woke up at your house? In your church? In your neighborhood? In your town? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

P.S.

Lent is Coming. We will pray, confess, lament, repent, and SING OUR WAY THROUGH THE 40 DAYS TOGETHER. You will need a song book. Get it here: SOUNDTRACK: A 40 DAY PLAYLIST THROUGH THE PSALMS

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I believe that some of the changes in how we perceive “church “ are already beginning to take place. My family and a few believers from other churches continued to meet at our place during the time when many of the local churches were closed due to concerns over COVID. We had already determined that gathering in person was essential to maintaining our maturation of faith. Historically the Church were the ones who cared for the sick when the world was ready to abandon them. The era of large in-person gatherings may be suspended for awhile, but the faithful will continue to gather in small groups for fellowship, prayer, worship and mutual encouragement. I believe that change is truly coming and probably already happening in several other locations.

  2. I went to a conference where they preached on being Jesus’s hands and feet. For 3 hours we listen and learned, and then at lunch time we were sent out to find people to pray for, to lay hands on, and even to the giving of all that we had. I must say this was glorious, and we kept it up for a few weeks. I still pray if I see someone in need, or offer a hand, but where did the zeal go. For me it was the lack of someone to do this with. I had no desire to go out on my own, to my own shame. I still offer prayer when I see a need BUT!

    In Florida, many churches are still open, and the faithful make their way. But, I do think that COVID-19 has opened a door for being more self-sufficient and self- reliant even those who call themselves Christians. There’s a sifting going on in the house of God. However, I can joyfully say that one member of my church offers a Sunday service at noon in his back yard. Yes, R.V. Brown will not be stopped to witness for Christ!

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