April 26, 2020

James 2:14-18 (NRSV)

What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you?  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? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

These words are written in the letter attributed to James, the half-brother of Jesus. They are words that bring to my mind a sad statement attributed to the famous Hindu religious leader, Mahatma Gandi: “I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”  Trust but verify. Gandhi could not trust Christianity because he could find no verifiable witnesses to the truth that is Christ. Do we live lives that verify the truth of the Lord in Whom we believe? Are others able to see Christ living through us? Can I get a witness?

Eternal God, during this time of great challenge in our world, may we claim it also as a time of great opportunity to be witnesses to You as we serve in Your name. Bless us and use us as instruments of Your love, your healing, your hope, so that when this time of crisis is at an end, we don’t go back to normal as it once was, but instead enter a new normal grounded in the risen Lord. AMEN.

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