Be Doers

Posted under The Rectory Bulletin

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)

Around me lie the broken scraps of many good intentions. They litter the carpet like straw on a stable floor, thickly piling up in the corners. You read something, or see something on the television, and say to yourself: I must do that. Your mind whirls with all the benefits you will feel as your life becomes more organised and more productive. Those ten steps to happiness and five paths to fulfillments, how they will transform your life. This is it!

So you set your mind to putting these things into practice, and a week later you suddenly realise that they have joined those other good intentions lying broken at your feet.

In the end it is not enough to simply read something, but you do have to put it into practice. Reading a magazine article about interior decoration will not get your room painted. A Rough Guide to Lisbon is no substitute to getting on the plane and setting off to Humberto Delgado Airport.

It’s the same with the Christian life, as James points out: be doers of the word! Our beliefs should result in actions as we put what he have heard from Jesus into action. But will this just mean more broken intentions? Well maybe at first, but do remember that Jesus has promised us his Spirit. He will strengthen us as we seek to live out the Christian life. I promise you, it will come. As our minds are renewed by Christ, our habits will follow suit.

So pick James’ challenge, and be doers. That way you will know that you have really heard Christ’s words. And taken them to heart.

Latimer and Ridley

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:39) - If you wander down Broad Street in Oxford you will see a cross in the road, marked out in pale bricks. This Friday marks the 465th anniversary of the Martydom of Nicholas Ridley (bishop of London) and Hugh Latimer (one time bishop of Worcester).

Breakfast Time

Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast” (John 21:12) - There is something comforting about the way in which Jesus dealt with his disciples after the resurrection. There they are, seven of them, bobbing away on a boat on the Sea of Galilee, fishing. A figure calls out from the shore, asking if they have any fish, and they call back: “no”. He calls back, telling them to cast out the net on the other side, and they do just that. The result is a net so full of fish they could not haul it in. That’s when one of them recognises that it is Jesus.

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