And God Said: “Let It Be Messy!”

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Our faith is much more messy, more gray, than we like to put on. What if the mess is holy?…What if the mess is not something to ‘fix’. (A.J. SwobodaMessy: God Likes It That Way, Kregel Publications, 2012, p. 8)

Frankly, I sometimes worry that people sell Christianity because they’ve conjured it up in their mind as this solution that’ll fix the mess of our life like some kind of drug with the long commercials. Jesus becomes almost therapeutic; like a vapor rub. With few to no side effects (that we know of)… But, honestly, my life is way messier after I started following the Jesus I met that it was before. (p. 14)

Christianity offers us brilliant insight into messes. That maybe death is no more than the sunset of hopelessness, and resurrection the sunrise of hope. we call this God’s kingdom. (p. 16)

Jesus asks people to be past tense people in the present for the future. (p. 21)

The Gospel is Jesus eating really really good food with really really bad people. (p. 33)

We begin to see the Spirit at work in the church when we choose to take our idealized views of what church should be, with all of its holy trappings, out into the backyard and shoot them between the eyes. (p. 36)

Trust is what God resurrects when our security dies. (p. 39)

Paul could have started one church, stayed, grown it to be a megachurch, and been invited to speak at all the best pastor’s conferences. But he didn’t. He started a church, brought people to faith, then left… But, he had to be gone. It was brilliant because, had he not done that, they would have done to him what we do to pastors today. They would have started to worship Paul instead of Jesus. (p. 46)

Communal prayer is authenticated when the person you are praying with knows all the dirt on your life. All of it. (p. 53)

God seems to be the sort of God who likes to move down the ladder of success for the greater purpose of redemption, to die in our shoes. (p. 58)

Jesus gets humanity in a really special way that the other gods can’t. Prayer is way easier when you know you’re talking to someone who, like you, got in trouble for peeing on the sofa and not in the toilet. I can pray for that guy… It’s the very beauty of God in the flesh that makes the gospel, the story of Jesus, so intriguing. Isn’t it? Because God in the flesh has experienced the worst of everything we have had to experience. (p. 60)

God is closer to you than you are to yourself. (p. 64)

Conversion might take a second. But salvation takes a lifetime. (p. 73)

If we can’t make God love us more by doing really good things, then we can’t make God love us less by doing really bad things. (p. 76)

Sure, God hates sin. But I’m rather sure God hates sin the same way I hate dirty diapers. I’ll always hate their diapers, but I’ll never confuse the diaper with the baby. (p. 84)

Christian spirituality goes wrong when we compare all the things we are good at with the world’s sin. (p. 98)

You know you have created God in your own image when God approves of everything you do. (p. 110)

Jesus did have revenge. On everyone. It just looked different than our concept of revenge. The human version of revenge looks like retaliation. But, Jesus’ revenge is very different. He called it resurrection. His way at getting back at the world for killing Him was by being raised from the grave. (p. 114)

Because we can touch it, feel it, and flip through it, we accept our Bible as our personal Lord and Savior and turn it into our God. (p. 133)

Christians are repentant atheists. (p. 146)

Worrying about what God’s will is often keeps you from doing God’s will. (p. 161)

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