Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sun. June 5, 2011 (Mariam Kamell)

Mariam Kamell, speaking on James 1:7-12, noted how we view God has serious implications for how we act, just as how we view our friends and coworkers affects how we relate to them. James does not present theology so much as a manual for living. It’s both wisdom literature in the line of Proverbs, with its theology, partly hiddne behind a presription for life; and it’s also in apocalyptic tradition as James presents God’s judgment at every turn. James bears warning as prophetic literature - if you do not choose God’s ways, you will be destroyed, so choose life and live. This is in line with Jesus’ commandment to the people “I desire mercy, not sacrifice.” God is a covenant-making God (vs 12) who responds to faithfulness. Therefore we should submit to our trials with God’s promise of relief to us in our ears. We should resist temptation - to blame someone else, to succumb to our desires - (vs 13-15) for the outcome is death. It’s not God’s requests of us that cause us to sin, it’s our own resistance. When we act out of love for God, and obey his commands, we are assured of mercy from God. We are not told to judge each other nor God. He is above all a good and giving God, (vs. 16-18) especially when we approach God in our lack, giving us good and perfect gifts. The ethics in James become dos and don’t s if we do not love God. Let us love God instead. [AP]

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