Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Today, in Mercy, we read from the epistle of James. There are multiple, unresolvable theories about who this “James” was, as three are mentioned in the Gospel. All I can say is that when I read this particular passage, I think that my Irish Great-Grandmother was the reincarnation of this writer, whichever one he was!
Each night, when we would innocently say, “Goodnight, Nana, see you in the morning”, Nana would ominously respond, “God willing.” I would creep up to bed convinced in my 3-year-old mind that God might be waiting to snatch me in my sleep. Upon awakening the next morning, I was glad God was “willing” to let me have another day.
Nana didn’t know the turmoil she created in me, but James’s warning is intended to disturb. Through his entire letter, he weaves the themes of humility over pride, grace over concupiscence, a holy integrity in face of evil. There is an urgency for holiness in James which can inspire us all. As our hymn says:
Our life as a dream, our time as a stream
Glide swiftly away,
And the fugitive moment refuses to stay.
Now is the time to “do the right thing.” (James 4: 17)
Music: Come, Let Us Anew ~ written by Charles Wesley in the 1700s. Sung here by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir ( The slide show appears to have been prepared by a Christian Jew)