by Joe Alain

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Beautiful Mess (1 of 10)
Series: Beautiful Mess
Joe Alain
1 Corinthians 1:1-9, ESV

I recently attended my niece's high school graduation. It was held outdoors in their football stadium and while the weather was nice, the free water being handed out by several area churches was a welcomed gift. Being a pastor, I obviously was interested in what was printed on the label of the water bottle. The message on my bottle of water got me to thinking about the nature of the church. It boldly proclaimed, ''You don't have to like church. We're a place for imperfect people who don't like church.'' At the bottom of the label was the statement, ''Church for the rest of us.''

Now don't get me wrong, I think I get what they were trying to communicate (we're not stuffy, judgmental, negative, we're relevant, you'll fit in here, you'll feel good about church, we've eliminated all the bad experiences that you associate with church, we're just like you) but I wonder how helpful we are being in some of our attempts to be relevant to people outside the church.

Is it realistic to promise that people will always like the church? And what happens to that person when we are not as advertised? Maybe the best advertisement that we can make is for us to understand who we are as the body of Christ and then by God's grace live out our faith in an honest way. A major part of the problem today is how we on the inside view ourselves. We ourselves have false ideas about what the church is so we often do communicate inaccurate or incomplete views to people on the outside.

When we are honest about ourselves and our faith, we will soon realize that our lives are pretty messy. We don't have all the answers. We're not the people others think we are. We're works in progress. We are a ''Beautiful Mess.'' That's what the Corinthian church was, a beautiful mess! Paul calls them ''saints'' but they look like the poster children for the late night commercial ''Christians Gone Wild.'' There were ...

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