Friday, August 31, 2012

Be Doers of The Word

Walk the Walk

Talk is cheap. To talk the talk is one thing. To walk the walk is entirely something else. The sacrifice of living the life is one built on the notion of compassion and love. Living that way will cost you. It is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called "The Cost of Discipleship". 

This way of life, while it will cost you, is the way of God. It is the way that leads to eternal life. Such a life is built on our care and concern for the poor and the vulnerable. It is built on truth within and a fearless inventory within ourselves.

There is goodness within. There is also much that needs our attention. Without a constant "weeding" of the soul, things "rank and gross in nature possess it merely". (Hamlet Act 1 Scene II line 136)

A Biblically ordered life is a life that builds itself on an awareness of the kingdom of God within.

These words from this coming Sunday's Letter of James speak volumes. They come at an especially helpful moment. There is lots of talk coming from Tampa. More to come in a few more days from North Carolina. Lets hold these words up to the Truth.

That's the acid test.

Here are the words without comment.

James 1:17-27

Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God's righteousness. Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls.
But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves. For if any are hearers of the word and not doers, they are like those who look at themselves in a mirror; for they look at themselves and, on going away, immediately forget what they were like. But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act-they will be blessed in their doing.
If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

May I live the words.
May we all live the words.
May truth dwell within us.
May we too dare to "care for the orphans and widows in their distress and keep ourselves unstained by the world". There are so many others to care for too! And to keep ourselves unstained in the process! How in the world can we do such a thing without the help of God.

Perhaps we're onto something there.
God help us!

Fr. Paul

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