Plain Talk: Justice or Caring for the Poor

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Throughout our faith history, there has been plenty of disagreement about what to do with the book of James. Though it was obviously included in the canonization of our Bible, Martin Luther believed it to be theologically flimsy, going so far as to call it “an epistle of straw” that “has nothing of the nature of the gospel in it.”

Unlike many of the other epistles, the book of James isn’t addressed to a specific audience. Though it is obviously a Christian writing, it never actually mentions the death and resurrection of Jesus. It certainly is a strange book.

Still, despite its unique nature, I fully believe that the book of James has so much to offer us today. Written at a time when the world was full of religious and political tension, James offered early Jewish Christians words of theological wisdom and  — more importantly — practical advice that they could use in their day-to-day lives.

This Sunday, we have the privilege of approaching this intriguing letter, prayerfully considering how we might see God’s wisdom at work in our own tense contexts. My hope is that you can join us in worship, as we open our hearts to the Word we all need.

Grace and Peace,

Christopher Wurpts
Youth Ministries Director and Aspiring Local Pastor
christopher@pvumc.org
602-840-8360, ext 142

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