To Care for the Distressed and Be Unstained by the World

This meditation is based on a passage for September 19, 2010 in the Daily Lectionary Year 2 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).

Text: James 1:19-27

Reflection and Question: Martin Luther, the reformer, was a staunch critic of the letter of James, which challenges the idea that salvation can be achieved by faith alone. This theme in James is captured in the maxim, “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” The wisdom of James entered into my Presbyterian heritage as the idea that “there is an inseparable connection between faith and practice, truth and duty.” For the writer of James, two examples of this connection are caring for the distressed, like orphans, and keeping separate from the ways of the world. How are you a doer of the word?

Prayer: Jesus, Blessed Child of God, bring these words of James to life for us today. Make us quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger so that we may welcome with meekness the word that has the power to save our souls. Bless our doing. Amen.