James tells us, without disclaimer or qualification, what it means to be religious. He does not define religion by quoting doctrine or equate it with liturgical accomplishment. It has nothing to do with meeting the quotas of evangelism.
To James, religion is helping the down-and-out get up-and-in. Sanctification, the continuing process of religion, is wrapped up in the outstretched hand of service.
Could that be it? Could religion be more duty performed than doctrine proclaimed? Deeds and not creeds?
UPCOMING WEEKS In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Perhaps what most people crave in today's world, is to love and to be loved. But it may also be true that not many people outside the church would use quite that terminology. Some people might say that they're looking for happiness, others might settle for contentment, especially the contentment of knowing that their family is happy and secure. Yet others might express their desires in different ways , such as the longing for good health or the desire for wealth, but probably at the root of all these wishes is the search for happiness.
Today, and for the next several weeks, the Revised Common Lectionary devotes attention to one of the most intriguing figures in all of the Old Testament -- the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah began his work as the bearer of God's word to the nation of Judah during the time of King Josiah's reign in 627 BC. His prophesying continued even as Judah's brightest and best were forced to leave their homeland for exile in Babylon in approximately 586 BC.