It is amazing to me that it is nearly Messy Jesus Business‘ 5th Birthday! Thanks be to God that I listened to the encouragement of my community and friends to start a blog about living the Gospel and we’re still going strong.
I am in awe, really, upon reflection on all the waves that MJB has had in the world, as there are many indications that this blog is having a positive impact. Since November 29, 2010, over 70,000 visitors have visited MJB. We have been mentioned in several publications, including on The Good Word at America, on Patheos, on Top Catholic Blogs, and in Our Sunday Visitor and in other blogs, such as There Will be Bread by Fran Rossi Szpylczyn.
I have been humbled by praise I’ve heard over these five years for the goodness found on this site. I’ll never forget the strangeness of first meeting someone who was a devoted reader of MJB (but a stranger to me) and how encouraged I felt about the importance of maintaining this presence (Thanks Melissa!). Plus, MJB has helped me gain the practice I’ve needed to come into other opportunities such as serving as a Horizons columnist for Global Sisters Report and being a regular contributor to Living Faith. (By the way, October 7, 2014—the day my first Living Faith reflection appeared—MJB had its biggest day with 1,031 views!)
Thanks be to God for the blessed community of Rabble Rousers who have indeed helped keep this blog going. I was very reluctant to begin blogging since I know I live a very busy life and usually have a bit too much on my plate, so to speak. But, with the collaboration of my awesome messy, Gospel-centered friends, we have been able to explore together some deeply important aspects of being the Church we hope for.
Some of the Rabble Rousers have contributed gratitude reflections to help us celebrate MJB‘s 5th birthday:
Being a part of the Messy Jesus Business community has helped me to not miss the trees for the forest, so to speak. In the midst of what sometimes feels like a large, confusing, abstract struggle for peace and justice, Sister Julia and the other bloggers remind me to slow down and focus on small moments and little victories—to celebrate where we are and where we’ve been even though a long journey still lies before us.
I love that this is a safe place for us to get messy. I think my thoughts are freakishly weird, and my spirituality is even more so. Sometimes I hesitate to share, but maybe someone else gets it, too. And that’s the beauty of this experience for which I am grateful.
Because having Jesus at the center of my love and commitment has always been messy, I treasure the freedom in MJB to connect my faith to real life. Where else can I talk about fears about celibacy, accepting my brokenness, exhaustion, Pope Francis, TV crime dramas, child slavery, final vows, violence against women, The Bachelorette and yard maintenance? Because it is always in these details of life that I find my Jesus.
As a parent to small children, my daily discipleship is truly messy –both literally and spiritually! I am deeply grateful to this blog for giving me a community with whom I can share, ponder, and grow in our collective messiness as followers of Christ.
I am very thankful for how this ministry of writing and witness has transformed my life. I am extremely appreciative for all the voices that have contributed to our communal contemplation about how messy discipleship truly is. Thank you writers, thanks to Jen and Jane for their help with editing and format, thank you to everyone who has commented and shared the posts, and thanks to all of you for subscribing.
I rejoice over how this messy little corner on the internet has helped contribute to the building of God’s reign of peace and justice; I am so grateful that the Spirit is at work here!
Thank your for your participation! Thank you for reading! Happy Thanksgiving! And, Happy 5th Birthday to Messy Jesus Business!!!
Sister Julia Walsh, FSPA