The place of religion

Religion looks more secure at Christmastime. This is the season when television makes room for stories of unselfish giving. Even cold hearts warm once again to the possibility of attending religious services, and doing a good deed seems the most natural thing in the world.

Christmastime has it right. The spirit of giving and the helping hand belong in society. James said it in his New Testament letter: "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." Who wouldn't value this kind of active faith? But how often the religious and charitable sentiments can slip away soon after the holidays!

Maybe the lesson is that we need more religion in our lives. Not more nativity plays, public prayers, or media exposure for church issues, but more living of what we acknowledge in our hearts to be true—and true not just on Sundays or religious days but every day. Looking at the social needs of today shows us pretty clearly what is necessary. We need God and spirituality in our homes and communities. While not intruding on government or public life, shouldn't religion nevertheless have greater effect on how we conduct ourselves?

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We cannot run out of what God gives us
December 16, 1991

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