This afternoon, while I was reading through The Letters of James and Peter in The Daily Bible Study Series by William Barclay, his comment on James 1:26-27 really struck me:
"All through history men have tried to make ritual and liturgy a substitute for sacrifice and service. They have made religion splendid within the Church at the expense of neglecting it outside the Church. This is by no means to say that it is wrong to seek to offer the noblest and the most splendid worship within God's house; but it is to say that all such worship is empty and idle unless it sends a man out to love God by loving his fellow-men and to walk more purely in the tempting ways of the world." (p. 61-62, emphasis mine)This is truth - I need to remember that "worship" extends beyond the corporate singing that we do on a Sunday morning, reaching into all of our time and all of who we are to being passionate for purity and justice in our lives and in the world that we live. These are the pursuits that James describes as "undefiled worship," and it is these things that are at the heart of you and me being the church today. See you soon.
"This is pure and undefiled worship, as God the Father sees it, to visit orphans and the widows, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." (James 1:27, Barclay's translation)