Maybe I should be more factual.
We don’t know whether or not it will be happy. And for everyone who says that happiness is a choice, I’d invite you to follow me around the hospital. In some situations, although happiness may be A choice, it’s likely not the best choice.
But I didn’t want to talk about happy. I wanted to talk about why I posted passages from James all last week, and why I didn’t offer commentary.
If you are following the Revised Common Lectionary for your Sunday Bible readings, you noticed that we read through James in September. For me that means sermons from James for the Sundays I’m at the hospital. What’s compelling for me during the preparation process is not so much what I say, but what James says. So I decided to let you spend a week reading what I had read.
James is blunt, concise, and challenging.
His words about economic discrimination in the church would feel political if it weren’t for their age. If these were issues that challenged the church 2000 years ago, then it’s possible that we need to consider why they are such deep-seated issues rather than dismissing them.
His words about acting on our faith rather than simply stating our beliefs predate our arguments about what counts as faith and works. He’s not responding to theologians, he’s responding to the teachings of his half-brother Jesus.
I shared the readings without comment so that you could join be in wrestling through how the words of God through James apply to me, to us, to the kingdom of God.
I hope that it was a useful struggle, not something you skipped. If you skimmed them because you thought you knew it already, I respectfully invite you to go back a week.
We all need reminders.