Good Tuesday morning. I pray that you are all staying well and are ready to enjoy some outdoor activities with the warm weather approaching. Many businesses are reopening, but we still need to be very cautious and diligent about physical distancing, washing hands, wearing masks around people, and not touching our faces. Please continue to be safe and keep others safe around you.
We begin our study of the book of James this morning. This letter is accepted as being written by James, the brother of Jesus who eventually became a church leader in Jerusalem. It was written around the mid 60’s CE and contains moral instructions and wisdom sayings.
As we know, Luther focused on Paul’s writings about being saved by grace alone. James reminds new Christians that a faith that fails to bear fruit in the moral life cannot save. This caused Luther to discount the book of James. He called it “an epistle of straw.”
First, the Salutation–one of the two uses of the name of Christ:
“1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes in the Dispersion:
2 My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; 4 and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.”
That sounds a lot like Paul’s writing. We sure are facing trials and testing this year, in our homes, in our families, in our church, and in our country and world. Difficult times for sure. Can we consider it joy? Because testing produces endurance? I don’t want to be tested this much! Do you?
Unless, this testing produces endurance, maturity, and a greater faith! This, then is worth the test!
Blessings on your day,