1 Sa 14; Jas 1; Psalm 31
So we move on from the book of Hebrews (we shall revisit it later in the year), with all its difficult obscurity, to the epistle of James, a letter all too clear.
This is the problem with the Word of God, we either choke on it as too difficult to understand, or reject it as too difficult to obey. How many for example have long ago relegated the Sermon on the Mount to the ‘when we get to heaven’ category, and thereby denied the inbreaking of Heaven in the Resurrection of Jesus and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit?
Of course we are not alone. Martin Luther of all people famously refers to James as ‘an epistle of straw’, revealing that the fathers of the reformation did not perhaps have the ‘high’ view of scripture so many of their followers do . . .
For those of us in the West, perhaps the hardest theme of James is his unflinching narrative against the Rich (one that he carries on from his brother . . .) What should we as rich people, and we all are if we have the capability to read this blog. what should we boast in? We should boast in being brought low, of the loss of our worldly wealth – for in the midst of our ‘busy’ lives (how important our busyness makes us feel) – we will wither away. Says James. Perhaps we too might wish to think James just a little beneath our theological sophistication.
Be doers of the Word. Says James – yes even the Sermon on the Mount, yes Even the Epistle of James.