Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord…if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
Acts 9 is a pivotal chapter in the book, and in the history of the church’s dynamic beginning. And, while I could write volumes about Saul’s conversion and dramatic transformation from the foremost persecutor and murderer of Christians, to their most esteemed First Century champion and apostle – there is something else in this chapter that caught my attention.
In verse 2, the Christians are referred to as “belonging to the Way.” The Way has a different feel to me than our modern phrases of Christianity or Church. Instead of a heritage, event, location, or even a series of ethical, theological, or philosophical convictions, it seems to speak more to a direction, or flow of living; a lifestyle. I like that better because it suggests something more than what one does or believes, but rather who one is – an identity. Jesus understood this when he described himself as “The Way” (John 14:6). Being a Christian, or going to Church is much more than a compartment of our lives. It is our identity. The Way is the established direction to which everything in our lives points and flows. Everything we say and everything we do embodies it (Col. 3:17).
I have never been more convinced that we must return to this kind of thinking. When Jesus is visible in our ordinary existence and the everyday flow of our lives people will come to know Him. We can no longer rely on Church Services to reach so many of those who will never darken our church doors. Instead, it’s in the everyday aspects and direction of our lives, where others will see that God is love. It’s in the Waythat we live at our dinner table; It’s in the Way we love and train our children, it’s in the WAY we humbly serve in workplaces, in the openness of our homes, and our open hearts that many will be drawn to choose that way of living – to walk in the Way – to choose Him.