In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
5 My dear brothers and sisters, listen! Hasn’t God chosen those who are poor by worldly standards to be rich in terms of faith? Hasn’t God chosen the poor as heirs of the kingdom he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor. Don’t the wealthy make life difficult for you? Aren’t they the ones who drag you into court? 7 Aren’t they the ones who insult the good name spoken over you at your baptism?
After writing “no favoritism,” how could James say God “has chosen the poor” as kingdom heirs? That was a hyperbolic way of saying God’s kingdom reverses this world’s values. (Jesus did the same—cf. Mark 10:25-27). “Roman courts favored the rich; in the second century, this preference was even written into laws, as it also was in many other legal collections…from the ancient Near East. Judges were of higher social rank and did not ordinarily trust persons of lower class.” *
King Jesus, James, and those he wrote to, knew that following you meant a lot more than just hanging out with some nice people when convenient. Keep reorienting my values to match yours. Amen.
Growing up as a 2nd generation Korean American, the word “honor” brings conflicting feelings. Culturally, honor plays a significant role in Korean culture. Those older, more educated, wealthier, in higher positions of power, and male are given more respect. Growing up in the Korean American church, I often saw people repeating the same customs that had oppressed them in Korea. I was expected to treat certain individuals better because I was younger, less educated, less powerful, and female. So, for me, honor was often an unfair, superficial, and forced custom.
In James, I find a lot of freedom from these types of cultural norms. James reminds us that God turns our worldly values upside down and says we are to honor the poor. God values those on the margins and sees those who are unseen. We are invited to join God in this new way of seeing and being, to love like God, and to treat others with respect (to honor them). After all, we are ALL created in the image of God.
As we are called to continue to reorient ourselves to God’s ways instead of the culture around us, what cultural norms has God called us to turn upside down? What would it be like to acknowledge, respect, and honor someone we usually do not? What could we do differently? I pray that God gives us opportunities to see people differently and honor them like Christ this week.
* Comment on James 2:4 in NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook . Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
** Comment on James 2:7 in NIV, Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, eBook . Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
*** Wright, N. T., Early Christian Letters for Everyone (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 15). Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. Kindle Edition.