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Feb 12th, 2021
Upstream: Culture and Community
By: Michael Rossini
1 minute read 

James 1:26 If you claim to be religious but don’t control your tongue, you are fooling yourself, and your religion is worthless. (NLT)

Last year was a very loud year. The news was loud. Social media was loud. It felt like there was a lot to say, and we all needed to say it. No matter the issue at hand, there was a mantra going around that said, “If you are silent, you are complicit.”

The conversation between Christ-followers also got really intense. There was a lot of disagreement, not only over the nature of the issues, but how well the Church was addressing them. And much like a panel of pundits on the evening news, many passionate and earnest Christians took to one-upmanship and shouting.

But what did our words accomplish? Did our words help to remind those who are in Christ that “pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” (James 1:27)?

Here in Scott County, Christ was magnified last year when the AMEN House distributed food to families who were weathering job losses and quarantines. Christ was magnified when families organized birthday parades for children and care packages for teachers. The Apostle James brought this all the way home when he said, “Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works” (James 2:26).

We can’t reclaim 2020, but we can absolutely ensure that 2021 is marked by an active faith that manifests the saving power of Christ through the good work of His people. Our culture can keep on talking. As for us, let’s put our tongues to rest and set our hands to work—together.

Go ahead and find out where the needs are in your community, and see how you can meet them. Need some ideas? Check out your local Southland Campus Page for serving opportunities, or check out the Groups Page to find (or start!) a serving group. Resolve this year to get your boots on the ground!