It’s all messy. All of it, and messy is a good word to use when describing grace. Grace is hard to manage. It’s not clean cut. It invites in the closed off spaces of our hearts to the surface. It confronts us with belief and true living.
Our society is in the middle of a culture war. We’re trying to figure out how to exist as a people. What do we believe? What do we stand for? The church specifically is asking how do we love others without sacrificing our convictions about biblical truth and moral ethics?
It’s bringing the mess out in us. It’s forcing us to get real with questions of love and truth.
Jesus did this constantly. He brought the mess out of people. He drew to the surface the beauty and the depravity. His response is constantly love. This is the gospel. The gospel is the good news that Jesus loved and died for the sins of the world. He rose from the dead to give new life to those who trust in Him. “The gospel of Jesus Christ is worth whatever mess it may seem to cause, because it changes lives.” Jesus didn’t shy away from the controversial. He looked it right in the face and responded with love. Love does win.
Author and pastor, Caleb Kaltenbach addresses the questions of love and truth in context of the LGBTQ community, in his book Messy Grace, from a unique perspective. He’s a pastor who get up with gay parents, who believes that homosexuality is a sin. His story is one of beauty, pain, hurt, hope, and ultimately grace. He sheds light on how we can show love and be a better church, the church Jesus called us to be. He points us to the gospel.
“The gospel looks messy because it can lead to lives becoming harder not easier. We are called to love and to reach the same kinds of people Jesus did – and that will always be met with criticism. When you look at the people Jesus hung out with and how he was mocked for hanging out with those people, you have to understand that you and I will get the same treatment, to some degree not only from the world, but also from our religious brothers and sisters.” – @calebwilds
Caleb calls us to a place of love. He doesn’t claim to give us an answer to believe in. Rather he focuses on the love of Jesus and opening up the conversations and the relationships around us to be centered in that love.
It’s a compelling story. Well written and challenging. Everyone needs to read this book. Everyone.
Get it. Read it. Get messy.