This is an introduction to a new mini series I’m calling, “The ‘Beautiful Mess’ of the Church.” It is inspired by the book Servanthood as Worship by Nate Palmer.
During a recent small group meet, we talked a lot about the messiness of the church. People are the church, so it can get pretty ugly (people=sinners). Fortunately, Jesus loves to take a mess and make it beautiful. This is why the church is a wonderful example of His grace.
Palmer says, “The beautiful thing is that God meets us in the mess. People are served in the mess. Ultimately, Christ will redeem the mess. One reason the church is the primary context for serving is because it is where messy people go when they need help.”
Only God could create such a place. Sometimes it is beautiful, and sometimes it is absolutely hideous. Even still, God has designed the church to tell of His son, Jesus, knowing we were going to be messy. That takes away my excuse to run from the church when she hurts me, or when hypocrisy is rampant, or when my own mess is overwhelming.
The worst thing we can do as the people of God is pretend we have no sin or that our church is flawless. This actually makes God out to be a liar, and it hides God’s grace from the world.
Palmer says the church is the best place for messy people. My pastor always says it’s where messed up people belong! The church knows the truth behind the mess, and it knows how to remedy it. With this mission to tell the truth, what place is there for pretending?
Hiding our sin behind the false reality of perfection is the result of pride. Our pride has huge implications for the unbelieving world.
If we hide our mess, we hide Him.