Marie Kondo became famous several years ago as a Japanese home organizational consultant who encouraged people to minimize their possessions and keep their homes very tidy by only keeping things that "sparked joy" in their lives. Her ideas swept America as people got rid of items trying to find order in their homes.
Recently, Marie made the news again in an interview when she admitted that as a parent she had basically given up on those same ideas. She said after the birth of her third child, "my home is messy, but the way I am spending my time is the right way for me at this stage of my life."
Like many of us, Marie has had to embrace the mess of parenthood. Kids are a blessing, but they make messes. They spill, they track in mud, they play with toys...and it creates chaos in what might be an otherwise clean home. And that is ok. Life is better with a bit of mess. It means that your life is well loved.
The same is true in church. People are messy, but they are worth the mess. If you create a church where people can be real and honest about their lives, they will bring in their mess (sin, struggles, temptations, emotions, frustrations, conflicts...) and that will be messy sometimes; but that is what it takes to create a real community of faith. I suppose we could pretend we have it all together and that our church is just a perfect place made of perfect people...but it wouldn't be real and no real life change would ever happen; plus the people who really need Jesus would stay away.
Remember, Jesus welcomed sinners and ate with them. It was messy. But, their lives were transformed as a result.
So, embrace the mess. The Church shouldn't be a museum for saints, but a hospital for sinners. Now, hospitals don't leave people the way they are...we seek to heal people; but we do accept the sick and help to make them whole.
So bring on the mess. Be honest. Be real. We will have the broom ready because Jesus calls us to embrace the mess.