I read this book a couple of years ago. I saw it on the shelf today while preparing lessons for my week of deaning junior high church camp next week. I saw one of those small green post-it flags attached to a page so I turned to it to see what had caught my eye two years ago. Here it is:
My father believes, as I do, that the church is the place where the incompetent, the unfinished, and even the unhealthy are welcome. I believe Jesus agrees.
Christianity is not for people who think religion is a pleasant distraction, a nice alternative, or a positive influence. Messy spirituality is a good term for the place where desperation meets Jesus. More often than not, in Jesus’ day, desperate people who tried to get to Jesus were surrounded by religious people who either ignored or rejected those who were seeking to have their hunger for God filled. Sadly, not much has changed over the years.
Desperate people don’t do well in churches. They don’t fit, and they don’t cooperate in the furthering of their starvation. ‘Church people’ often label ‘desperate people’ as strange and unbalanced. But when desperate people get a taste of God, they can’t stay away from him, no matter what everyone around them thinks.
Desperate is a strong word. That’s why I like it. People who are desperate are rude, frantic, and reckless. Desperate people are explosive, focused, and uncompromising in their desire to get what they want. Someone who is desperate will crash through the veil of niceness. The New Testament is filled with desperate people, people who barged into private dinners, screamed at Jesus until they had his attention, or destroyed the roof of someone’s house to get him. People who are desperate for spirituality very seldom worry about the mess they make on their way to be with Jesus.”–Mike Yaconelli, Messy Spirituality, 33-34
You know what the problem is with us Christians? We become so certain of our faith in Christ, that we have forgotten what it means to be desperate, we forget how to be desperate. We are so confident in our Justification that we forget about Sanctification. We settle. And badly.
Perhaps it would behoove us to remember what it is like to be desperate, starving, dying of thirst. Perhaps if we remembered these, satisfied as we are, it would be much easier for us to understand those who still are in such dire straits. Perhaps we have forgotten how parched the land really is and why we came to Christ in the first place. Perhaps we need, quickly, to remember.
Soli Deo Gloria!