It is definitely after midnight. I am home from youth group, my “due at mid-night” homework is in my professors inbox…and finally I had time for my prayers. My United Methodist History class requires me to pray for thirty minutes six days a week. The blogging is not required, but I am hoping it will help with the paper I need to write (I hope writing is good for my soul too of course!) After a long day…with many twists and turns I finally have a moment to pray with the Scriptures.
Questions for the text:
Why do these two translations sound so different? What does the original Greek really say?
My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
My dear friends, if you know people who have wandered off from God’s truth, don’t write them off. Go after them. Get them back and you will have rescued precious lives from destruction and prevented an epidemic of wandering away from God.
Why did Elijah pray for no rain for 3 1/2 years? Does James talk about Elijah in other places? Can we sing if we are suffering? Can we pray if we are cheerful? When James said to call the elders, did he mean a man with an MDiv degree, ordained, with a church under his care? Or did he simply mean the elders of the church? The ones not afraid of our illness and willing to pray even over the sickest because they’ve already seen it all?
I wonder about the ancient people who read this letter. A few weeks ago when I started reading James, it sounded so harsh. Mean at moments. But as I listen and study more, I think we need some of this. We…all of us…churchy, non-religious, anti-religious, devout ..we all need to learn how to live in community. John Wesley’s small group met 3 to 4 days a week!!!! Seriously! Maybe the people that James wrote this letter too had some of the same “distracted with life, don’t know how to live in community” moments just like us. (And very much unlike John Wesley apparently.)