Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Thursday prior to Proper 18


James 2:1-10 14-18Showing partiality is a sin, for true faith issues in good deeds.

This passages in context condemns the showing of partiality to the rich and the humiliation of the poor (Vv.1-5) because it is a violation of the law of love, partiality is a sin (Vv.8-10).

Verses 14-18 refer to faith as intellectual assent only which does not issue in deeds of compassion. True faith expresses itself in deeds of live. This harmonizes with Paul’s teaching that faith works through love. Faith and works are inseparable. Since you have faith it will be demonstrated by works to the neighbor in love.

Let’s face it; we are profit-oriented people. We ask, “What will we get out of it?” What is there to gain?” James asks, what good is it to have faith but not works. If a needy person is given only empty words and not physical help, what good will the words do? The Christian faith must be of some value, some help to others. Otherwise, it is a useless, profitless religious experience, shallow and of little use.[2]   

Favoritism is forbidden – faith and deeds are explained. It’s quite easy to say, “I believe,” “I have faith,” “I trust,” etc. Too often these are empty words and phrases. James explains that the sign of a genuine faith is shown in deeds. The key verse is verse 17, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

A prayer for guidance in our callingLord God, You have called Your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that Your hand is leading us and Your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. [3]– 02 September, 2021

[1] The Crucifixion Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcut copyright © from WELS  used with permission for personal and congregational use

[2] Lectionary Preaching Workbook, John Brokhoff © 1981 CSS Publishing, Lima, OH

[3] Collect for guidance in our calling, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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