More and more, lately, I have come across the term “The Way” of Jesus. It basically means getting back to the basics of what it means to call yourself a “Christian” (a Christ-follower) ~ shedding all of the complicated, man-made rules & rituals, and making following Jesus as simple (for lack of a better term) as Jesus intended for it to be in the first place.
To follow Jesus means to imitate Him ~ live as He taught us to live (through His life and actions while on Earth). Of course that is, by all means, far from simple. But it’s also not nearly as complicated as the church (and today’s ‘pharisaical’ types) would have us believe.
Even in Jesus’ day, the Pharisees made knowing God into a list of rules and rituals. But Jesus repeatedly put down all of that religiosity, and said simply, “Follow Me“.
Mother Teresa was a prime example of living “The Way” of Jesus. She went to where the poorest of the poor were, and she served and loved them with everything she had.
Shaine Claiborne and his friends at The Simple Way (an aptly named group, IMHO) are providing yet another example, as they minister to the homeless on the streets of Philedelphia.
You know, it’s really too bad. When I was a teenager, I was very self-absorbed. I was so caught up in my family troubles and my boy-drama that I had no time for, or interest in, missions. I was too scared to leave the comforts of what I knew. And yet, nowadays, I’m finding myself wishing for an opportunity to go, and I can’t because I have my own -young- family to care for. Not to mention, my husband may or may not go along with the idea, given that we don’t share the same beliefs. 😕 I don’t live in a big city, either, so there aren’t that many opportunities to serve the homeless.
Shane Claiborne’s book, “The Irresistable Revolution“, is still having an impact on me and my thinking. LibraryThing.com’s “Early Reviewers” program has a book on offer, this month, called “Under the Overpass” by Mike Yankosky. It’s about two guys who purposely chose to be homeless for a time in order to better live out their faith — without the modern conveniences and comforts. I requested this book for review, and I hope I get it. I was torn about asking for it, but felt led, almost, to do so. Shane’s book has left that much of an impression on me.
I want to find more books that talk about simplifying the Christian faith, and about imitating Jesus. I want to write my own book about it so that others can join me in this, too! It’s such a strong tug at my soul, the way this concept resonates with me! There’s more to it that I haven’t yet discovered… I’m sure of it. 😉