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Bulletin: Bulletin September 19, 2021
Newsletter: September 19 2021 Weekly Letter
Scriptures: James 1:21-22, 27, 2:8-17, 26; Psalm 15; Matthew 7.1-5
- Oh, How Good It Is (lyrics & melody, video w lyrics)
- Blest Be the Tie That Binds (lyrics & melody; video, background, meditation)
- In Christ Alone (Getty, Newsboys, background)
This year hasn’t been kind to many farmers across the prairies. While some have had a decent year, drought continues to impact yields everywhere. Let’s keep the harvest and farmers in our prayers during these long and often dangerous work hours.
No one knows when this multi-year drought will end. All people can do is try to adapt and endure.
At the same time, our world has now been in the grip of Covid 19 for more than a year and a half and it has meant hardship for many. We don’t how long this will go on.
It would seem that the churches James was addressing were going through a hard time, with no sense of how long it would last. James seems concerned that with nothing going right for so long, people were beginning to take it out on each other or on God. He warned them against grumbling, conflict, envy, prejudice, or prayerlessness.
How have we responded to the restrictions, the losses, the illness?
James didn’t simply challenge the early church to endure, he challenged them to endure with joy, to spread peace and mercy, and to pray. He believed that we were being prepared for eternal life, that those who “stood the test will receive the crown of life.”
God’s word is implanted in us as something we “do,” it is meant to lead to fruitfulness. However, if we do not live out our faith, it is as if our faith is dead. Hard times challenge our willingness to care for others. They can produce hard-heartedness or judgmentalism instead of compassion and mercy.
James repeats Jesus’ summary of the law. We are to love our neighbours and to care for those in need without prejudice.