Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Saturday, April 3, Evening
By Dr. Don Rhodes, February 29, 1980
Read James 2:26 (Living Bible)
“Just as the body is dead when there is no spirit in it, so faith is dead if it is not the kind that results in good deeds.”
Article X of John Wesley’s “Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church” reads as follows:
“Although good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God’s judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and spring out of a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree discerned by its fruit.”
We believe that our United Methodist Church is a part of the church universal and that the church itself is a community of true believers under the Lordship of Christ. Our church is the total body of faithful individuals who transcend more than buildings, properties, ministers, staff, commissions, councils, and boards. We are the church, you and I, mutually supporting each other both individually and collectively, and witnessing our faith in God through the works we do.
When we became members of the United Methodist Church we promised to be loyal to it and uphold it with our “ … prayers, our presence, our gifts, and our service.” This our final vow of membership into this community of the faithful was to work for and in our church toward the ultimate glory of God. Our work, however, is far more than regular attendance at worship, attending church school, Bible study, prayer, or passive participation. We must be an active, witnessing, serving community that typifies Jesus the Christ whose name we claim. We must be involved, serve on committees, teach, visit, telephone, cook, clean, decorate, usher … give of ourselves, of our love, our faith, and our material goods. We must feed the hungry, clothe the poor, comfort the infirm and support the afflicted. Ministers may come and ministers may go, programs may prosper and programs may perish but we the church, the community of faithful, must continue … continue evidencing our faith by doing our Father’s work.
Father, grant us strength and courage to face the challenge of doing your work. We live in a complex world where much suffering exists. Help us to express our love and faith through our work both in the church and out of it. Teach us to see the needs and give the best that we can.