Good Thursday morning. Once again, I was up at 3:30 listening to the turkeys. They are quite amusing. It was nice to watch the sunrise and hear the birds come to life this morning. The creativity of creation always amazes me.
I think James was a pretty good creative writer. The language in this next set of verses is pretty and rich in imagery, but “scorching” in its condemnation.
James 1:9-11 (NRSV)
“Let the believer who is lowly boast in being raised up, and the rich in being brought low, because the rich will disappear like a flower in the field. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the field; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. It is the same way with the rich; in the midst of a busy life, they will wither away.”
James is reminding his readers that our status on earth should not be our main concern, but rather our status in eternity. What he is not saying, I believe, is that it is bad to be rich. The Judean church was grappling with worldly distractions just like most of us today. James is lifting up the poor and how they have been treated by the rich. The issue at hand is more about behavior than amount of money.
This has been a subject of controversy throughout the ages, but especially in our time of prosperity. Inequality is not God’s plan. Money is not evil, but the love of money is a problem. It’s what we do with our money that either pleases or displeases God. Our time on earth is short; let’s make good use of it!
Psalm 103:15-16 (NRSV)
“As for mortals, their days are like grass;
they flourish like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.”
But, don’t despair at the ephemeral status of humanity; the reliability of God is our good fortune.
Psalm 103:17-18 (NRSV)
” But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear him,
and his righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep his covenant
and remember to do his commandments.”
Blessings on your day,