Date: October 21, 2018
This week our reading comes from the letter of James, written for the Christian communities that were dispersed outside Palestine. It was composed to be primarily practical and to address some specific issues going on in a particular Christian community. Perhaps it was the church that James worshiped in or perhaps it was penned for another community elsewhere.
James’ emphasis is on being “doers” in this text, particularly regarding oppressed peoples and is part of what creates a bigger message within a short book. One preacher shared this story that makes this point very clear.
“One of the sermons I remember best is a sermon I didn’t actually hear. During the expected sermon time, the preacher offered only a few introductory comments - and then sent the congregation out of the sanctuary and into the community to be “doers” of all that we proclaim in church each Sunday. One church member said afterwards, “Every week, we hear the sermon. This week, we lived it.”