“What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” (James 2: 14-17)
I’m grateful to come across the above-quoted passage on this chilly Thursday morning in Vienna, just before I go out for my power-walk. I’m reminded that my faith in God, however Orthodox, does not “clothe” or nurture me merely by the words I profess on Sundays; nor does it simply ensure that I speak the “right” words, on the “right” kinds of issues. In fact, the Apostle James tells me, my faith is “dead,” if it does not “warm and fill” my life on a daily basis, inspiring me “rightly” to face my responsibilities, also with respect to “the things needed for the body,” like the proper amount of sleep, exercise, work, and healthy food.
So let me not be “ill-clad and in lack of daily food” this Thursday, both physically and spiritually. Let me open my heart to God’s nurturing word and presence, as I enter this day not on my own, with any self-centered fears, but with Him in the picture, that I may also be useful to others, in God’s Self-offering Spirit. “Come and abide in us,” Lord, throughout this day, that we not only speak, but also act, in faith.