Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pentecost 14 B - James 1:17-27

James 1:17-27
Martin Luther called James “an epistle of straw” for its less than solid declaration of the Gospel but every time I read it I can’t help but hear Jesus speaking. I bet that’s because James knew his half-brother better than Luther did even if Luther had the apostle Paul to tell him what he needed to know. (Luther was born again while reading Romans and practically gushes over Galatians) That might be why James reads more like Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) than Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. Of course we Lutherans tend to read everything through the Pauline lens but that being said we’d be well served to apply the lesson of James to the way we live the Gospel. If you look at it that way the epistle of straw is the brick and mortar of the Gospel house. “So be doers of the word and not merely hearers.” (James 1:22) That sounds a lot like “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16-20) 

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