February 23, 2020
Scripture: James 2:1-4
My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, “Have a seat here, please,” while to the one who is poor you say, “Stand there,” or, “Sit at my feet,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
Thought for the Day: In my sermon this morning, I am making a reference to those moment when the Bible smacks you upside the head – you know, with a passage of scripture you’ve read dozens of times before. Suddenly, there is something new. Of course, the something new is probably a new openness within ourselves. This passage from James was a recent experience of that very thing. I know these words well as I love the Book of James, but in a recent reading it was as if someone had scribbled a few extra verses since my last reading. Actually, it probably arose from some honest confession in the last few weeks. For me, it is not discrimination in regard to clothing or bling, but other things that have been under my skin for a while now. In what ways might I have acted with some Passive-Aggression, a roll of my eyes or a patronizing word? All the time, I am unconsciously (I think) raising myself above the person. Is it just me, or does anyone else feel like this happens? I’m asking for a friend.
Prayer: Let me see people as you see people, O Lord of Unconditional Love. Provide me an awareness of how my language can be dismissive and devaluing. Call me to the side of Jesus so that he can show me what I may not currently see. It is in his name that I pray. Amen.