Whether we are talking about heaven, the kingdom of God, eternal life, or the Promised Land, after Jesus we must understand that these are not places but a way of life. In a similar way, being born again or saved or baptized are not once-and-done events but the beginning of a way of life. We do not experience God or the Holy Spirit or Christ by going to a place but by living a particular way of life, the life of a disciple, the Way of Love.
On Sunday we heard John the Baptist invite the Israelites to come from their homes, from towns and villages, from cities and institutions, into the wilderness where he calls the people “to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins.” (Luke 3:3 CEV) I spoke in my sermon about this wilderness as a place of restoration, preparation, and transformation, but this wilderness is not a place. It is a metaphor for a way of life.
That is what is so beautiful and effective about The Way of Love campaign coming from our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, and from our own diocese. The Way of Love incorporates the practices that make up the way of life Jesus invites us to live. The Way of Love leads us to include practices in our lives that are modeled after Jesus and the Gospel. We encounter God, we experience the love of Christ, and we see the sacred in one another, when we live our faith through these Christian practices.
The Way of Love, then, is an invitation to know and trust Jesus, to experience the love of God, and to experience the sacred in our lives. We are supporting one another to create new habits, new practices, and new behaviors that allow us to see Christ in the stranger, to see the sacred in the world, and to give the love of God as way of life.
Yours in Christ,