Ever since the birth of this blog nearly six years ago each discovery of Christian content elsewhere—stuff that also emulates the tone Messy Jesus Business aims to assert—has been a little thrill for me.
And by “tone Messy Jesus Business aims to assert” I mean that in this forum we (myself and the Rabble Rousers) try to ruminate on the hard, uncomfortable aspects of Gospel living. It is messy, challenging and intense to struggle for social justice and the protection of the most vulnerable. It is confusing and complex to live a Spirit-filled life working toward systemic change, to fill our lives with works of mercy and simple living. There is no tidy and straight-forward way to contribute to the coming of God’s reign in this broken world. In fact, we experience union with God in the chaos and suffering, among the poor and the despised and the least and the little ones.
Here is a small sample of Christian blogging gems from around the web that express the spirit of Gospel living as being real Messy Jesus Business:
For the Church by Midwestern Seminary’s “The Messy Christian Life.”
The Blazing Center’s “Church is For Messy People.”
The Gospel Coalition’s “I Come Messy and Ashamed” by Christina Fox.
Gospel Centered Discipleship’s “Messy Discipleship” by Jake Chambers.
Monadnoc Bible Conference’s “The Gritty Gospel” by Roy Baldwin.
One of my favorite group blogs, The Mudroom, contains excellent stories and reflections related to Gospel living in a tone that fits with their tagline “making room in the mess.”
And I found the editorial “Becoming a ‘messy’ church under Pope Francis” in a 2013 issue of National Catholic Reporter. It addresses the effects of Pope Francis’ comments at World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro:
“I expect a messy World Youth Day. But I want things messy and stirred up in the congregations. I want you to take to the streets. I want the church to take to the streets.”
Apparently in the UK, entire churches aim to be together in a way that honors the mess of Christian living. This approach is called “Messy Church” and is a program of the Bible Reading Fellowship.
Plus, there are entire books (which I have yet to read) that seem to focus on the fact that living the Gospel is just messy and tough:
“Messy and Foolish” by Matt Warner
Photo credit: http://messyandfoolish.com/
“Messy Spirituality” by Mike Yaconelli
Photo credit: amazon.com
With so much affirmation and encouragement, we can continue on our journeys with hope and joy for it all inspires a new beatitude: “Blessed are the mess-makers for theirs is the Kingdom of God!”