The writer of the letter of James poses a challenge. As Christian people we are not simply to listen to the words of the gospel, we are to live the gospel message in our daily lives. It’s not enough merely to be hearers of the word of God, we are to be doers of the word of God too. There is something here about integrity and something about balance. It’s easy to talk the talk but do we walk the walk, as the saying goes? Has our faith in Jesus Christ become something of a comfort blanket rather than the gift of God that shapes our life?
We know that we should be people who pray, who read our scriptures, who worship together and who live out our faith in the world 24/7. We know we should ‘care for orphans and widows in their distress’ (James 1:27) and much more besides. Jesus is very clear: we are to love our neighbour as ourselves and our neighbour is everyone in God’s world. We cannot take on all the world’s problems, but we should be clear about who we feel called to help, what injustice we feel called to challenge, as we live out the transforming gospel of Jesus Christ day by day.
A few years ago, those who took part in Lent groups looked at how to live ‘A Rule of Life’ a shape for living, a rhythm of life that ensures a healthy balance between prayer, study, work, play and action. In the Christian life, it’s good to pause from time to time to think about whether we have the correct balance in our lives. Encouraged by today’s bible reading, this may be a good time for you to pray and talk this through with a member of the ministry team or with a friend. May we all grow in faith and service of others as we both hear and do the word of God. Then shall we indeed be blessed.
Rev Canon Nikki Arthy, Rector