Good Monday morning. The weather report looks nice this week after a rainy weekend. It was wonderful to be back in church for yesterday’s service. Too bad the sound wasn’t quality and the first part was backward. Trial by fire. We are learning. I recorded the service again last night in case you couldn’t hear the morning service.

This week I have the opportunity to attend the Festival of Homiletics online. It was supposed to be in Atlanta and features really good preachers. I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say!

We finished Philippians, so how about jumping into the book of James? Martin Luther didn’t like this book and didn’t think it belonged in the bible. “He didn’t think it expressed the “nature of the Gospel,” it appeared to contradict Paul’s statements about justification by faith, and it didn’t directly mention Christ.” (Zondervan Academics)

Luther wrote, “St. John’s Gospel and his first Epistle, St. Paul’s Epistles, especially those to the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and St. Peter’s Epistle—these are the books which show to thee Christ, and teach everything that is necessary and blessed for thee to know, even if you were never to see or hear any other book of doctrine. Therefore, St. James’ Epistle is a perfect straw-epistle compared with them, for it has in it nothing of an evangelic kind.”

Luther wrote, “We should throw the epistle of James out of this school, for it doesn’t amount to much. It contains not a syllable about Christ. Not once does it mention Christ, except at the beginning. I maintain that some Jew wrote it who probably heard about Christian people but never encountered any. Since he heard that Christians place great weight on faith in Christ, he thought, ‘Wait a moment! I’ll oppose them and urge works alone.’ This he did.”

Yikes. Kinda rough, eh? That makes we want to study it all the more! Let’s find out for ourselves if Luther was right. We’ll dig in tomorrow, but why don’t you read through it today? It is really short with only 5 chapters.

Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue