Here we are in James again with his poignant and sharp pointed words which leave no doubt what he means to say.
He opens right away contrasting favoritism with faith. He is saying if you show favoritism that you might as well say you do not believe in the all-inclusive love of the Savior.
Then he draws us a picture. Gold rings and fine clothes in contrast with someone wearing dirty clothes, is the example of how we might show favoritism.
We all know the way this works. We show preference for the person who looks more like us, who acts more like us, who carries themselves more like us and who smells like us.
What is an affront to God, is that the person who is different from us is just as much a holy and beloved child of his as we are.
This is a hard concept to fathom.
Generally, we feel that someone who has the same “look” as we do, who pays their way and who values similar things, are to be preferred over those who don’t.
We are so far down the road into this way of thinking, we really don’t understand what the text is saying in this passage.
We center our whole lives around familiar “sameness.”
Here is the problem however: That won’t fly in Christ’s church.
And so, we stutter and sputter “but…but…but.”
But we feel so much more comfortable with sameness that with differences.
But I don’t know what to say to someone who is dirty.
But what do I and a poor, perhaps uneducated person, have in common?
So here it is, as James goes on:
Listen, my beloved brothers and sister. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? But you have dishonored the poor. Is it not the rich who oppress you? Is it not they who drag you into court? Is it not they who blaspheme the excellent name that was invoked over you?
The word of the Lord.
Moving to the deeper places,