But what if faith and the way are identical? What if faith is defined by its journey? “Now you’re just being silly,” you say? “That would put our theme somewhere between obscure and paradoxical… no help at all!” Nevertheless, there is precedent for the identification of faith and the way. Consider that the early Christian community did not refer to itself as Christian, but rather as The Way. They referred to themselves as followers of Jesus on the way. And you don’t get off the hook just by saying that faith as the way is obscure or even paradoxical. There is much in our faith that is obscure, and some that is over-the-top paradoxical. For example, consider God as “One in three and three in one,” or Jesus as “Truly God and truly human,” or “To save your life you only have to lose it,” or… well, the list could go on and on.
Humor me for a moment and consider what faith would look like if it was defined by its journey; if faith and the way were identical. Firstly, it would mean that faith is a verb; something we do, not something about which we hold an opinion. And it would mean that we would choose those with whom we fellowship less on what they believe to be true, and more on what their lives show to be true. And it throws the focus back onto our lives today. That is to say, the goal of faith is not to get to heaven; it’s not to bide our time through this warm-up act, waiting for the truly real to come along. No; faith as journey means that this life matters. God has the eternal covered, we need not fret about that. Rather, we are called to follow the way of Jesus. And that friends, is quite a journey. A journey to God in God’s presence, as one scholar has put it.
On Sunday we will begin an inquiry into what faith as a journey means for our personal and spiritual lives, and the way we look at our day-by-day living. I hope you will join us at 8:30 (classic worship) or 10:30 (creative worship).