English Standard Version (ESV)
So coronavirus is a thing, and it's intimidating. It's transforming the way Americans live our lives, as schools and zoos and businesses close their doors for the foreseeable future. Bars and restaurants have closed, as have libraries. I don't know that I ever thought I would see this -- I never even considered it. I went out today to get a haircut and felt like I was risking my life. Strange times in which we live... If you really believe in the virus, you wash your hands, right? Having respect for the danger means you pay attention to the warnings of our officials. You don't have to buy into the fear and panic that is sweeping the country, but you can still be mindful and alter your routines to keep yourself healthy. By doing so, you demonstrate that you believe the virus is real and has power.
James is putting forth the argument that our faith in God reveals itself through our actions. It's not that our actions justify us, or that we can earn God's love through our actions. Rather, by acting in ways that are consistent with what we say our beliefs are, we're demonstrating that what we say we believe is actually what we believe. Our lives show what we believe, they demonstrate our trust in God. When God called Abraham, Abraham went, showing how deeply he trusted God.
So may we live out our faith in God, revealing our trust in God through our actions. In the midst of these chaotic times, by choosing not to panic, we reveal that our ultimate trust is in God. We live and we die in the Lord, and in death, we live, because in our baptisms, we are baptized into Christ's death and resurrection.