Home > Uncategorized > The Jesus Way – Part II

The Jesus Way – Part II

Here is the second section of my notes for our clergy reading group last week on Eugene Peterson’s The Jesus Way. Remember, this isn’t a post written for a blog audience but notes for that reading group. I’d be happy to discuss it with any who are interested in the comments section.

“Way” is a stock metaphor in both our Scriptures and the traditions that have developed from them. At the entrance to our prayer book, the Psalms, the opening meditation uses this metaphor to set two ways of life before us. Will you live a solid life of prayer, listening to and answering God, rooted in the soil of God’s revelation, your life growing like God’s Torah, a tree with fruit-laden branches? Or will you line an insubstantial life of chatter and gossip, using words without God-context, oblivious of God, your life reduced to a pile of incoherent syllables, leaves blown every which way by the wind? Choose your way. (23)

Being good Arminians, we know that choice plays a large role in the way of salvation and thus the way of Jesus. We are saved by grace through faith (Eph. 2:8 ) yet that faith is constantly being tested by the choices we make. As we live lives that reflect the character of Jesus we must pay attention to the choices that we make. Peterson developed this thought later on in the book when he notes,

Faith is a trusting, obedient life on the road, the way. Faith is a resolute “Yes” to the promises and commands of the living God, God as present. And faith is a firm “No” to an idol subject to manipulation and control, a god that we can see and touch and test. (46)

Are the choices we are making consistently “yes” to God and “no” to our proneness to manipulate and control the world around us? Are we listening to the witness of the Spirit in choosing to follow the difficult and often dangerous narrow road that Jesus carved out for us or are we saying yes to the ways and means of the world? These are questions that must be answered regularly if we are going to fulfill or ordination commitment of “going on to perfection”.

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