The writer of this letter of James addresses the divisions amongst the Christian community in the last third of the first century. The writer uses the cultured Greek of the wealthy to address the widening gulf between rich and poor church members. Those who think of wealth as a sign of God’s blessing are bluntly informed: 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.
We who are so easily seduced by wealth, and so readily idolize wealthy people, need to hear the truth that the rich will “wither away”. Only those who resist the temptation of greed will discover the blessings of God. (James 1:11-12). We discover our spiritual health when we relinquish our greedy pursuit of wealth and possessions. When we trust God “who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly” we are able to become generous, compassionate people (James 1:5).
Ordinary 19 / Pentecost +1241 Prayers and Promises
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 255.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.