This is The Way
Eugene Peterson’s book, The Jesus Way, starts with a significant comparison for disciples of Christ. He writes, “This is a conversation on the spirituality of the ways we go about following Jesus, the Way. The ways Jesus goes about loving and saving the world are personal: nothing disembodied, nothing abstract, nothing impersonal. Incarnate, flesh and blood, relational, particular, local.” Now, consider what Peterson says about the ways of our culture that shape us more than we would like to admit. “The ways employed in our North American culture are conspicuously impersonal: programs, organizations, techniques, general guidelines, information detached from place.”
As we progress through 1 Thessalonians, it is instructive to see how Paul set himself up as one who was worthy of imitation as he imitated Jesus (1 Cor. 11:1). Our time in chapter 2 this past Sunday demonstrated how Paul was nothing if not incarnate, personal, particular, and local. He was on the Jesus Way. He calls us to follow him as we go about making out our way in this world. The constant challenge is that we are torn betwixt two paths. This week you will have plenty of opportunities to take the ways and means of the world instead of the way of Jesus. Temptation to share the gospel out of wrong motives might arise. You could be reticent to share the gospel and not your very selves also. You might find it hard to believe that, contrary to your circumstances, the word of God is at work in your life. By grace, imitate Paul as he emulates Christ. In this way, you will find yourself one who also is a model of imitation.
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you this week,