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James 5:13-20

Proper 21B

Were “community” in the deepest sense of the word a commodity that’s traded on some kind of stock exchange, it would be soaring in value. That’s partly because of the law of supply and demand. Genuine community the word is in such short supply that the demand sometimes exceeds the supply. So many things isolated…

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James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a

Proper 20B

My friend whom I’ll call Wayne is struggling to submit to God (4:7) right now. In fact, that struggle has produced a fairly deep crisis of faith in him. Yet to Wayne’s credit, he’s honest enough to share that struggle with me as well as seek my help in becoming more submissive to God. Wayne…

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James 3:1-12

Proper 19B

“Not many of you should presume to be didaskaloi (teachers),” James begins this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson (1). About now, many teachers might agree with him. A few weeks (or days) into the new school year have probably begun to tax even the most dedicated teachers in ways that may leave them considering some kind of…

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James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17

Proper 18B

When I hear James tell his brothers and sisters in Christ in this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson not to “show favoritism” (1), I’m tempted to respond, “That’s easier said than done.” Favoritism isn’t, after all, both common and dangerous. It’s also terribly difficult to eradicate. Favoritism is an at least perceived fact of daily life. Almost…

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James 1:17-27

Proper 17B

I suspect that many of this Sunday’s Epistolary Lesson’s proclaimers consider ourselves reasonably self-sufficient. At least some of us were raised in solid homes and received better-than-average formal educations. Many of us have good jobs that support comfortable lifestyles. Since we have worked hard to get where we are, we naturally see our current station…

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James 5:7-10

Advent 3A

This is a season of the year that we don’t generally link to patience.  Children are chomping at the bit to open their presents.  Some of us are impatient for holiday visits from family members and friends who live at a distance from us.  A few of us may even feel impatient to be done…

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James 5:13-20

Proper 21B

Difficult people, things and circumstances exist over which even the most skilled and powerful people have virtually no control.  But God graciously gives God’s adopted sons and daughters at least some control over how we respond to those difficulties. James 5:13-20 at least implies that the apostle understood that as well as anyone.  After all,…

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James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a

Proper 20B

The scope of this Sunday’s Lectionary Epistle makes the lesson somewhat awkward.  It, after all, spans parts of at least five paragraphs and two subject headings in most English Bible translations.  This lesson also simply omits most translations’ second half of verse 8. That awkwardness will leave at least some of us searching hard to…

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James 3:1-12

Proper 19B

Even some casual sports fans are at least somewhat aware of the controversy that continues to surround the use of what are called performance-enhancing drugs.  People have accused numerous athletes of taking drugs like steroids to improve their performance. Studies suggest that the use of anabolic steroids, for instance, increase lean muscle mass and strength. …

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James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17

Proper 18B

In God’s Politics Jim Wallis describes an experiment a seminarian once conducted.  He cut every text about the poor out of an old Bible.  It took him, Wallis reports, “a very long time.” “When,” concludes Wallis, “the zealous seminarian was done with all his editorial cuts, that old Bible would hardly hold together, it was…

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