This is really the biggest problem in the church today that we have a certain view of church as certain people who sit in certain seats on a certain day of the week and they act a certain way. As a result, we aren’t really willing to let it get messy. We’re not willing for there to be a blurring of distinction about where people are interacting and you might not really know if this person is following Christ or not.

There is a certain amount of mess to that, in other words, there was a real mess, Jesus saying to Zaccheus, I want to stay at your house tonight,. It caused this huge stir. Why? Because Zaccheus was way far from being the typical type that would be associated with a good religious person or even following God. He was stealing from people. He was like the gang leader of the city. He was knocking people off probably to make more money, but something about Jesus attracted him and Jesus saw it and saw that God was at work behind the scenes with him – I’m going to move in close. That created a mess. The religious people didn’t like it. Zaccheus invites all his friends who seemed very far God and yet Jesus enters into that very comfortable in his own skin, confident that God is already here at work and is doing something and he’s going to bring it out. He is going to make something beautiful out of what seems messy.

Unless the church is willing to enter into that place we will not see God make something beautiful out of the mess of life. And if we think that the way God does things is to make things look neat on the outside, then we’re falling into the trap of the Pharisees. We’ve got to be willing to enter in to the mess of the culture and allow God to do something beautiful in it.