Thought for the week

Thought for the Week provides a Verse, Thought and Prayer for the week ahead.  We trust you will find these helpful and encouraging in these times.

Verse for the week:

James 2:14

“What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone?”

Thought for the week:

The letters pages in the local press, on more than one occasion recently, have featured a quote attributed to Irish essayist Hubert Butler, which says this:

“Compared to how we behave, what we believe matters very little.”

I suppose a more colloquial expression would be: “You should practice what you preach.”

Or even: “Your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.”

To sum up (I think), it’s no good saying we believe in certain things unless our actions match our words – nobody will listen, keep listening, pay any attention, or make comment other than to criticise what they would see as a credibility gap.

We have good news to share, a message of God’s compassion and mercy, of salvation through Jesus Christ who, above and beyond anyone who has ever lived or will ever live, demonstrated what it was to practice what he preached – his actions (or chosen inactions) on every occasion and in every situation matched the words he said: –

Isaiah prophesied about him, “He had done no wrong, and had never deceived anyone.” [Isaiah 53:9]

Jesus himself said, “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions”. [Matthew 7:20]

And St. Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love …… joy …… peace …… patience …… kindness …… goodness …… faithfulness …… gentleness …… and self control.” [Galatians 5:22-23]

Jesus didn’t just “talk the talk” – he “walked the walk”

And he says to us, “Follow me”.

Words and actions, or maybe more importantly, “actions and words”?

A final quote from another “Hubert”. (US Vice President Hubert M Humphrey)

“This, then, is the test we must set for ourselves; not to march alone, but to march in such a way that others will want to join us.”

May God, our Father, give us all the grace to do just that.

Prayer for the week:

Come, Holy Spirit

Remind us, counsel us, advise us, empower us

Every day, everywhere, with everyone

To be more like Jesus

To follow him, not just in word, but in lifestyle

To truly live and share the Good News

As we live our lives to the glory of God, our loving Father

And for the good of our neighbour

Come, Holy Spirit

Amen.