Christendom is full of messed up, broken, needy people.
That guy you think for sure has all of his ducks in a tidy little row and singing out of the hymnal every Sunday morning and in church on time? He's messed up, too. I confidently know this and my expertise is backed up by decades of experience in a variety of churches, but then last week my husband Fletch and I spoke at a family camp all the way across the country and let me say this again in case you doubt: Christendom is full of messed up, broken, needy people.
The 600 people we hung out with at Sandy Cove's homeschool family camp were not more messed up and broken than any others, but like us, they are really good at the "shiny, happy people" masquerade. And then we got up on that stage on Monday morning and just put all our own messed up, broken, neediness out there, and it began what was at first a slow trickle of the broken, messed up, and needy moms, dads, brothers, and sisters that grew day by day into a deluge of the most sinful junk and yuck hidden beneath years of shiny, happy Christianity and laid bare at our feet. And we wept.
How have we missed the truth of the gospel in this? The truth that Jesus paid it all, just for us? The truth that He weeps over us, not because we are messed up, broken, and needy, but because He is the answer, the way, the truth, and the life, and we sit in our musty little corner polishing our shiny, happy people idols and missing all the fullness of everything He is.
And aren't you tired of it all?
After we spoke about shifting our hope off of Jesus Christ and onto, oh, everything and anything else, we followed up with a session on what it looks like when we live remembering how loved we are by God, and then a session on living confessionally, with all our stuff out there, living lives of authenticity, and then a big, loud, beautiful reminder of how very much loved by God we are.
Many of the people there were tired of it all.
They came wounded, bleeding, hemorrhaging. They waited by our door in the morning and grabbed us on the way to breakfast. They scooted their chairs next to us as the salad was just about to hit our lips. They even pounded on our door late one night in a last attempt to confess and break through the chains of addiction that had bound them for years and years and years.
And lest you be tempted to think it must just have been this wacky group of people out there in Maryland, let me reiterate: We're all messed up. And I'm not just saying that.
Isn't it grand? It is, because >>> Jesus <<<. Because the gospel. Because the truth that there is not one of us who does good except for our loving and generous and perfect savior, Jesus Christ, and we get to lean in, hide under his wings, and be seen by the God of the universe as complete and whole and not messed up.
How does that change the way we think about Jesus? About the good news of his death and resurrection? Does it make it truly good news? It makes it great news. Excellent news. Perfect love and grace for messed up, broken, needy people. Like me.