August 16 2020 James 2:14-26 Post 3 ISSL Reflections

You can read several translations of this week’s passage at –,CEB,MSG

Let’s look at The Message translation of a couple of sentences.

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense? (James 2:14-17)

Did you notice, “… God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense”

As I look back over my journey of “faith” I find that for a long while I thought the most important thing was to get the words right. To do “God-talk” right. After all, wasn’t I supposed to have the right theology, to interpret Scripture rightly, and to have my “witness” ready with the right words to convince others of the right path to God?

Then, things swung the other way. I talked a lot about social ministries, social justice and was involved in a congregation’s weekday ministry in its neighborhood. Theology became very unimportant. It was about living the life Jesus modeled and called us to.

Have you seen that sort of thing?

There is no balance in one’s life. It is all one thing or the other and there is little matching of our thinking/talking to our actions?

It seems to me, James is calling us to not lose sight of the fact that a call to faith is a call to living the faith every day, every minute in every place.

It might be great if faith was a thing that we only wore on Sunday’s at church, but neither James nor Jesus seem to think that is the life God calls us to.

What have you heard James say to you this week?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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