The Letter of James
Although dismissed by Luther as an ‘epistle of straw’ the letter of James offers a very practical view of Christian discipleship. His very direct and uncompromising words on the living out of the gospel are a good check on making religion become a comfortable ‘hobby’. The letter makes a useful examination of conscience for those who suspect their faith might be more about what they believe than how they live.
Sunday 2 September
Twenty second Sunday in Ordinary time
Deuteronomy 4.1-2, 6-8; Psalm 14 James 1.17-18, 21-22, 27
Mark 7.1-8, 14-15, 21-23
The readings offered to us today ask a very basic question – how do we live out the faith we profess? The reading from Deuteronomy insists on the closeness of God and his participation in the lives of the people. This is no distant, detached deity. God is intimately involved with the people, and the Law that is given is evidence of that. The whole purpose of the Law is to draw the people close to God and so enable them to receive his loving kindness. In the gospel we have a scathing attack by Jesus on the wrong way to regard the Law.