Sermon 15-9-6

 Reading

James 2:

[1] My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. [2] For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; [3] And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: [4] Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? [5] Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?

Isn’t this so important that we remind ourselves about this all the time today? Is our world not only full of pride in material things and contempt for the spiritual but we actually promote pride, greed and contempt for the poor as good?!

Don’t we teach our children that only the strongest shall survive?! Do we really believe that this principle can bring about a peaceful world and happiness for its people? How does the survival of the fittest compare to (Mk 5: 43), ‘Love thy neighbour as thyself’?

Be good to the poor to be an heir of the Kingdom of Heaven! Be a father to the poor as Job had been (Job 29: 16). Be a father. In the Scripture this word does not only refer to a biological father, but it refers to a person who took care of the community. The original Christians held everything in common (Acts 4: 32), even the women. Titus 2: 4 admonishes old women to calm down the young men – lovers to be children – loving. (see here).

It may not even been that clear who the father was of which particular child. Children used to adopt their fathers as in the Gilgamesh Epic, when the Ale wife advised the hero, ‘Pay heed to the little one that holds on to thy hand’ (See Greetings from Paradise chapter ‘Living With the Sin’).

Also in the Bible it is possible to become the father of a person already living. Psalm 2: 7, ‘I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou [art] my Son; this day have I begotten thee.’ In this case God becomes the father of the faithful!