Hello friends! Today we begin the Book of James. While some scholars argue that this was authored by James, the brother of Jesus (James the Just) it's more likely it was written anonymous under his name. One thing that is not contested though is that this letter has had a history of being on the side line. Famously, Martin Luther, considered the book among the other disputed non-canonical gospels/letters and filed it under the appendix. The reason for this is because unlike Hebrews the epistle looks favorably upon the Torah and the law. Doctrine aside, the book of James is a challenging book that reminds us that church is a verb and requires action on the part of the believer in order to be true. What will you think of the book of James? Let's find out!
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What kinds of commentates would have heard or read this message?
Why did the author think actions based on faith were key?
What is the "law of freedom"?
Why does James focus on speech as being so dangerous? Do you agree?
- Further Reading -
A book that is in our church Library that was an endorsed reading of the national United Methodist Women is "The Scandolous Message of James" by Elsa Tamez. I LOVED this book and if James is something that inspires you I encourage to read this by lending a copy from our library or ordering it by clicking the title above.
- Overview Video -
It's a new book which means we have a Bible Project overview video to consider! How might they help us better understand the context and intentions of this epistle?
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is from hymn 341 in our hymnal - I Sought the Lord. This hymn was written anonymously in 1890 and it beautifully captures the concept of prevenient grace as it articulates that Christ loved us before we even loved Him and invites others to embrace that love for themselves. I invite you to make that your prayer for today.
This is a simply stunning composition and I truly believe you will be moved by it.
1. I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew he moved my soul to seek him, seeking me. It was not I that found, O Savior true; no, I was found of thee.
2. Thou didst reach forth thy hand and mine enfold; I walked and sank not on the storm-vexed sea. 'Twas not so much that I on thee took hold, as thou, dear Lord, on me.
3. I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole of love is but my answer, Lord, to thee! For thou wert long beforehand with my soul; always thou lovedst me.