Today's Reading: James 1:22-27
Be doers of the Word and not only hearers--deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22)
He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Do. It's one little word. Two letters. And yet it is so difficult to do. Do your homework. Do your chores. Do what your parents tell you. How does our to-do list get done when even our daily tasks are difficult to do?
"Be doers of the Word," James tells us. What happens when we look to God's Word? What about the Ten Commandments? Do this. Don't do that. It all seems so overwhelming. Impossible. That's the Law: It says to you, "Do this," and it is never done.
Thankfully, God's Word doesn't stop with a to-do list. He has another word for you: done. That's the Gospel: done. Jesus has done all things well for you. That's what He came to do with His perfect life. For all that we have done and all that we have left undone, Jesus does. It is finished. Done. Christ does the "do" you couldn't "do." On the cross your to-do list is Jesus' done list.
What does it mean, then, to be doers of the Word? It all begins with Jesus, but not Jesus, the wise guru who shows you how to be a super-Christian. The Bible is not a how-to book; it's the saving proclamation of Christ Crucified. Christianity is not about "What would Jesus do?" But, "What has Jesus done for you?" Everything. He lived, suffered, died and rose for you. That's Jesus' Word for you. Unlike our words, Jesus' Word is action. His Word does what He promises.
So it's not that hearers become righteous by being doers--that's Law. Rather, hearing leads to doing, just like a good tree bears good fruit. Hearing Jesus' forgiveness spoken in your ears gives you forgiveness to speak to your neighbor who has sinned against you. By Jesus' love poured into the chalice, you are able to pour out your love to those in need: the widow, the orphan and those in affliction.
Christ has set us free to hear his Word. And hearing leads to doing. For everything is done. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
So use it well! You are made new -- In Christ a new creation! As faithful Christians, live and do Within your own vocation, Until that day when you possess His glorious robe of righteousness Bestowed on you forever! (All Christians Who Have Been Baptized, LSB 596:6)