Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
-lig- comes from Latin, where it has the meaning “to tie;
bind.” This meaning is found in such words as: ligament, ligature, obligate, oblige, religion.
Random House Learner’s Dictionary
Interesting, isn’t it, that the words like ligament, obligate, and religion have a common Latin root? The idea of binding together is a nice concept, but religion is not the first thing I would think of these days as something that binds us together.
Religion is an attempt to bind together people of a common faith. That concept fell apart many centuries ago as people of the Christian faith splintered into numerous denominations and sects. Christians aren’t the only ones whose followers drifted off into various derivations of a once somewhat singular belief system. Just look at other religious orientations to see that.
The point here is that the idea of religion is supposed to be a binding force. Instead, it has become not only a source of differences, but one of bitter fighting, wars, hatred, and enmity. In other words, it is the exact opposite of what it was supposed to be.
James tried to explain what “pure religion” was, but that seemed to have been lost on those who would try to complicate a beautiful gospel.
Maybe we should worry less about religion, and concentrate more about acting out our faith.
Prayer: Lord, forgive us for our forays into religion and away from your simple truths, Amen