Signposts of Renewal

“Some Christians think that faith is like a set of MapQuest directions – that there is only a single highway to God. After all, Jesus says, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by me.” He is the map. And Christianity is a kind of vacation destination, a place you wind up to escape hell. Such Christians claim that God has a plan for your life, a route you must follow or you will be lost in this life – and damned in the next…. Like computer-generated directions, this road is predetermined, distant, and authoritative. You cannot exit this freeway or deviate from the route without peril….

But what if Jesus is not a MapQuest sort of map, a superhighway to salvation? What if Jesus is more like old-fashioned street signs in a Baltimore neighborhood, navigated by imagination and intuition? Rather than a set of directions to get saved, Jesus is, as his earliest followers claimed, “the Way.” Jesus is not the way we get somewhere. Jesus is the Christian journey itself, a pilgrimage that culminates in the wayfarer’s arrival in God. When Jesus said, “Follow me,” he did not say “Follow the map.” Rather, he invited people to follow him, to walk with him on a pilgrimage toward God.

How, then, do we get there? How do we follow the Jesus way? You have to exit the highway, risk getting lost, and follow the signposts on the ground.”

Excerpt from Christianity for the Rest of Us: How the Neighborhood Church is Transforming the Faith – by Diana Butler Bass (pg. 72-3)