I wrote this book trying to be as honest and grounded as I could. I expect some people will disapprove of me admitting to sometimes feeling ‘meh’ when Jesus is mentioned. It’s not a feeling I’m proud of, but it’s important not to pretend to each other that we all live on some super-spiritual plane where we feel all the ‘right’ feelings. And sometimes I do get a bit fed up with the same concepts, clichés, stories I’ve heard a thousand times. (Other times, the old familiar images and passages leap out of the page kicking butt.) If we can’t be real with each other in the down-to-earth unpretentiousness of Messy Church, where nobody needs to prove themselves to be perfect, where can we be?
So God’s Word for Messy People invites a Messy Church leader, team member or indeed, someone who is just interested in coming closer to Jesus in their everyday messy life, to take a few moments each day for a month to read a Bible passage and live out some aspect of it during that day as they reflect on the transformative nature of that passage.
The book’s shaped around the way Jesus in the gospels demonstrates the five Messy Church values. it spends a week exploring stories based on each value, with the value of Christ-centredness running through it all. It’s written in everyday language for people who want to live out an everyday faith, and many examples are taken from Messy Church life, so it’s quite earthy. Even sticky.
My favourite part to write? I think it might be the week on hospitality, as it’s a subject that I find infinitely fascinating and challenging. But then again, thinking through creativity within the gospels was intriguing… and celebration for when we don’t feel like celebrating… And the hard challenges of the way Jesus treated people of difference, in the all-age week… Nope, don’t make me choose. It was a privilege to have an excuse to wallow in the gospels.
It’s – I hope – a good way to introduce a Messy person to Jesus in a gentle way or to remind some of the old hands in the church that Jesus is worth way more than either a polite acceptable nod or indeed a ‘meh’. And it’s very short.