Scripture: James 2:14-26
Key verse: (14) What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works?
Reflection: Can you imagine telling your child that you love them, but never giving them a hug? Or how about saying you hope your sick spouse feels better, but never getting them soup or a blanket to warm up? This just seems inconceivable, right? If we love our child, we not only tell them that, but we show them affection through hugs and quality time. And if we hope our spouse feels better we get them food and help them rest.
However, according to James in our passage for today, people are prone to label themselves as Christians but not live into the actions that would show it. James asks, “If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?” Our faith is more than our prayers. Our faith is more than labeling ourselves as caring and Christian. Our faith is more than words. Our faith is lived, it is embodied, it is made concrete in our actions.
Right now when we are showing love by keeping our distance from one another and wearing masks, you might think it difficult to show your faith by your deeds. But you all have been finding creative ways to show God’s love for the hungry, the homeless, the sick, and the lonely. You all have been bringing thousands of pounds of food for those hungry through canned food drives, you have been giving casseroles to the hungry, you have been giving financially to those affected by COVID 19, you have been writing letters and making phone calls to those who are isolated. I am thankful for you all and how you continue to “Live Out Love” in creative ways! May God continue to strengthen you in your faith, that we may both pray for those in need and also respond in our loving deeds.
Prayer: Holy God, stir within us that we may not get complacent in our faithful words. By your Spirit move us to action, embolden us to share, to care, to love in our deeds. And by our actions may all know our love for you, and your love for the world. Through Christ we pray, who showed us love through his own life. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].