Friday, August 31, 2012

The Sunday Word

The second reading from St. James this weekend reminds us that Christians are doers of the Word. Here is the Sunday reading:

Dearest brothers and sisters:
All good giving and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights,
with whom there is no alteration or shadow caused by change.
He willed to give us birth by the word of truth
that we may be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Humbly welcome the word that has been planted in you and is able to save your souls.

Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this:
to care for orphans and widows in their affliction
and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Now Christians must be doing, not "just looking." The whole crux of our faith is that we don't know every detail, every contingency, every possible development that awaits us. But we do know who is in charge. A life of faith demands we work hard but know that ultimately God is in control.

As Christians, those who have heard the word and are called to act upon it, we are not to plan but to prophesy our way forward in life.

The hot and sweaty slogan of the Nike company, "Just Do It" isn't quite right. In the church we don't "just do it," we also "just pray it." It is in the power of a Spirit-filled closeness with God's desires that the church begins to see the shape of its future. That kind of closeness is possible only through prayer -- the Christian's conduit to God.