Before they were called Christians, the people who would become the Church were called People of the Way.
Soon after the death of Jesus, followers of Jesus began to form small groups in order to think about the life they had shared with Jesus, his teachings and how best to honor the gift they had been given by virtue of their friendship with him. This all happened before there was, technically, a church. The first followers of Jesus were called “People of the Way” because their purpose was to figure out how to live out the Way, or teachings, of Jesus.
The Way of Jesus offers an alternative vision of life–a vision grounded in the goodness of the gift of life, the dignity of being human and a belief in the on-going participation by God in the lives of humans. Out of that alternative vision fall naturally certain priorities, behaviors and practices. Jesus summed it up when he taught, The greatest commandment is this: love God with all your heart, mind and strength. And, love your neighbor as your self.
At Advent, as small as we are, we look for all sorts of opportunities to learn to practice the Way of Jesus. Learners on a road, we respect that each of us is on a different place in our journey with God, and that’s OK.