Week of Proper 27, Year Two[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]
Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:
Psalms 88 (morning) // 91, 92 (evening)
I rarely waiver in my sense of God’s presence, or in my trust in the teachings of Christ. But my faith does waiver on one point: whether Christianity has a net-positive effect on the world. I know that Christian faith has inspired acts of stunning generosity and heroism, and that it sustains courage and compassion in many daily lives. But it also fails us spectacularly, to the harm of human beings and the planet we inhabit.
Our second reading today has some severe words for those of us who are religious. It speaks of those who are “hearers of the word and not doers.” It speaks of those who “think they are religious.” It warns us: “their religion is worthless.”
Is our religion worthless? The passage goes on to define true religion: “to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” Are we caring for the vulnerable and marginalized, who don’t find themselves safely integrated into families and nations? Are we keeping ourselves uncorrupted by the powers of this world? Anything less is counterfeit. And many people can tell it’s false currency.
Lora Walsh blogs about the Daily Office readings at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.