It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Getting Along, a Reflection on James 3:13-18; 4:1-3, 7-8a

Although the lectionary is not designed to match themes of the first reading with the epistle reading, this week it does. James writes of the importance of wisdom and also of the divergent outcomes of being wise and being unwise.

And, according to James, it's pretty obvious if somebody is wise. If you're envious or selfishly ambitious, you're not.

Moreover, your envy and selfishness harms everybody. (I'm wondering if envious and selfish people worry about this.)

How God wants us to be, according to James, is peaceful, merciful, impartial, and not hypocritical. Perhaps, if I would try to attain and act out those characteristics, then I wouldn't be envious or selfish. Or, if I weren't so envious and selfish, then I would find it easier to practice peace, mercy, and impartiality, rather than hypocrisy.
"Why can't we just get along?" someone asked.

Well, why can't we?

I'm thinking now about the petty arguments prevalent on Facebook (and some not so petty.) I am defriended and been defriended.

Yet, James seems to be telling me that I'm not going to be able to get along with anybody as long as I'm worried about my own self too much.

Give thought to what God wants.

Is there any hope for me?

James says "Of course. Just give up what the devil wants and start wanting what God wants."

Can it be as simple as James makes it out to be: Resist the devil and he's beaten. Draw near to God and God's with you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am perpetually amazed by how well the "semicontinuous" Old Testament readings fit with the "thematic" readings of the Epistle and Gospel. Over years of teaching from the lectionary -- five times through, now -- I have come to see in this pattern, the consistency and integrity of God's message.