Pure Religion

Journal: Sunday 11 January 2015 17:56

imageWhat to say of the last couple of days and our arrival in the Holy City of Jerusalem. I guess the mosh obvious feeling is one of confusion. Here in a city of religion there are many who would profess to worship a just and loving God, yet there is a clambering to hold territory to stake a claim on their particular version of God and his land. It is easy to see how those who choose to be agnostic or atheistic look on perplexed. With recent events in Paris one wonders just what we have learnt from the last few thousand years of religious conflict. Although I sit here a committed Christian, this city makes me aware that Christians are far from innocent in this history. Yet we must be aware that there are many around the world who listen to their scriptures and try and bring Gods love into this world. My bible says:

If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. (James 1:26-27).

I have seen and heard of pure religion here in the Holy Land, and it is not amidst the pomp, and the glitter. I have seen pure religion or pure love enacted by many people. Here in Israel we visited a children’s home, supported by the operator of this tour. Love is enacted in that place on a daily bases. Today we worshiped with other Anglicans at St George’s, and heard of love that is enacted ever day both here in Jerusalem and also in Gaza. Sick are healed in hospitals supported by those of that Church, and people are fed. Boys are raised and given a chance to be the men God would have them be, supported by travellers. Perhaps that is pure religion, perhaps that is pure love. Perhaps that is God in the Holy Land. Perhaps that should be headline news.

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