Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pentecost 14b - James 1:17-27

Lisa and Josh and 100 bales of hay
James 1:17-27

Martin Luther called James “an epistle of straw” for its less than solid declaration of the Gospel but every time I read it I hear Jesus speaking. I bet that’s because James knew his half-brother better than Luther did even if Luther had the apostle Paul to tell him what he needed to know. (Luther was born again while reading Romans and practically gushes over Galatians) That might be why James reads more like Jesus in Matthew's Sermon on the Mount than Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Of course we Lutherans tend to read everything through the Pauline lens but that being said we’d be well served to apply the lesson of James to the way we live the Gospel. A person who participates in House for All Sinners and Saints suggested that the link to the tab “what we believe” should be “come see what we do” and if you look at it that way the epistle of straw is the brick and mortar of the Gospel house. “So be doers of the word and not merely hearers.” (James 1:22) sounds a lot like “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16-20) 

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