FOR THE COMMON GOOD

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James

James 5

Per chapter 5 . . .at first, it looked imposing to me! Lots of seemingly disjointed thoughts about rich people, oaths, patience through suffering and anointing with oil. Not a clean, easy text to walk a congregation through. But then I looked a little closer. I searched for the thread to all these closing discussions…

James 4

Well James has really been digging up the soil, hasn’t he?  He’s tampering with all kinds of things below the surface.  This chapter reads like a treatment plan for selfishness.  Selfishness seems to be the root of all our interpersonal struggles.  It’s what tanks our prayer lives.  It’s what allows us to make life work…

James 3

So chapter 3 is about the use of our words.  Although there’s mention of the tongue as a tool for cursing someone, the major point seems to be on the smooth use of the tongue to teach.  It speaks of how easy it is to have the right words and teach the right words, and…

On Using People: James 2

Mercy is at the center of this chapter.  It’s mercy that stimulates compassion for the poor and leads us into more than a theoretical relationship to God (like the demons have).  Having received mercy, we want to offer it and we can no longer treat God like an idea.  Ideas don’t offer mercy, only people…