James: a glorious ending

By September 27, 2018Sunday Prep

I think it’s helpful to read the conclusion of the Epistle of James in its full context. James was writing to a community engaged in conflict over class discrimination. It was apparently a vicious and heated inter-church argument. In the beginning of the Epistle, James urges the people in the church to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. He tells them that anger doesn’t bring forth righteousness. Later in the letter he tells them to watch their language and how they speak to one another. Really, it’s a good recipe for church unity, no matter the level of internal conflict, if any exists at all.

But then, after telling them us who not to be, he tells us who we ARE.

We are a people of prayer. We pray when we’re in distress, we sing our prayers when we have something to celebrate, and we pray together. We bring our sick into the midst of the assembly, and we reach out our hands and touch them. We even bring our troubles and sins to each other, knowing that no matter what we’ve done or failed to do, we will be met with gentleness and prayerful forgiveness.

It really is a glorious ending to this letter, and a glorious way to BE.