Today’s Reading: James 1:22-27
Daily Lectionary: Numbers 9:1-23; Luke 16:1-18
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. (James 1:22–24)
In the Name of Jesus. Amen. “Doers of the Word of God.” You don’t have to be afraid of that phrase. You might think that James is getting dangerously close to a kind of works righteousness here, demanding that you do things to please God, rather than just believe Him. After all, he chides his readers to not be hearers only. Being a doer of the word is a natural outgrowth of being a hearer, James says. Jesus Himself calls on all His children to “love your neighbor as yourself.” And we understand that love will often be action, doing those things that the Body of Christ would do for anyone near and dear.
It can be hard to love your neighbor sometimes, though. This is true. Some people truly are hard to love. Yet you are called to love anyone who isn’t you. James isn’t writing this in a vacuum, though. He knows that the people reading this epistle have heard how much their Lord and God loves them, and he shows them how that love for them becomes love in action towards others.
“We love because he first loved us,” John says. That’s what the Christian life is, a life of service and love of others. But that love isn’t always some grand gesture, or a trip halfway around the world. Did you help an older member of your church with a hymnal on Sunday? Or open a door, or pass out a bulletin? Did you take out the trash when mom asked, or do your laundry without being asked? You were being a doer of the word.
These are the works your Lord gives you. He places upon you a vocation or five and puts opportunities in front of you that allow you to fulfill those vocations. Doers of the Word. You’ve been equipped by your Lord for good works, so freely go forth and love those people He has placed in your life. In the Name of Jesus. Amen. –Rev. Duane Bamsch
O Lord, keep Your Church in Your perpetual mercy; and because without You we cannot but fall, preserve us from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen (Collect for Tuesday of the Sixth Week of Easter)