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Messed Up? Join the Club
On 4th May Rachel Held Evans died at the age of 37. Rachel was a New York Times best-selling author whose books include Faith Unravelled (2010), A Year of Biblical Womanhood (2012), Searching for Sunday (2015) and Inspired (2018). Rachel wrote about faith, doubt and life.
Rachel challenged the Church in how it presents itself, how we as Christians present ourselves. The poster outside the Church for the last few weeks has said “Messed Up? Join the Club”, what are we saying, what does this mean?
Often, we think we need to walk as walking adverts. Happy and put together to prove that our faith works! By doing so we present a false image of our faith. Sarah Miles in her book Jesus Freak puts it like this. “Jesus invites us to go and make disciples, he doesn’t show us how to cure everyone, but He shows us how to enter into a way of life in which the broken and sick pieces are held and loved and given meaning, and strangers literally touch each other and in doing so build a community spacious enough for everyone.”
Being a community of faith is about being relational: it takes time, walking with people through the difficult times of life, it requires patience, presence and a willingness to wander, to take the scenic route.
If we are telling the truth, Rachel says, the church doesn’t offer a cure, it offers death and resurrection, it offers the “messy, gut-wrenching ... work of healing”, it offers grace.
When people understand that, then the message might get out that
you don’t have to be sorted, or good enough to come to Church, and the
challenge of the Church is to be willing to be present, and patient, to love
and build community, spacious enough for everyone to be able to join the club!
To do this we need to be on our knees before the God of love, let’s get