From the Rector: September 1, 2021
“But be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.” ~ James 1:22
Dear St. James Parish Family,
As I hope you will notice every Sunday morning this September, we are hearing quite a bit this fall from the Book of James. Interestingly, James has gotten a hard time over the centuries by some in the Church, who tend to find his writings theologically light. Martin Luther once wrote that James was the author of a “straw gospel.” As Luther was principally focused on our justification by faith alone, that perspective might be understandable. The beautiful focus that James places on good works did not sit well with some. May I offer a different view.
I believe that through the entirety of his book James is simply asking his readers (you and me) to pause and consider our motives, to act with compassion and enthusiasm, and then to reflect on the outcomes of our actions. And not because we want to earn the praise and blessings of God (which we actually can’t accomplish as human beings), but rather because it’s the right and good response to our life of gratitude to Christ our Lord.
I don’t always understand how our lectionary readings are organized. It does seem, though. that September is the perfect time for each of us to think about our actions. Many of us are looking into a busy fall, with many more activities and obligations. I invite all of you to prayerfully consider where there is intentional good in your schedule and in your works. I’ll be doing the same!
I had the chance this morning to join in the Open House of our wonderful St. James Day School. I commend to you the almost 70 children who will be on our campus every morning, and the amazing teachers who will be with them. Please take time to pray for them, and for all students and teachers who are beginning a new and unpredictable school year. A Prayer for Young Persons (from our Book of Common Prayer) is offered below.
I hope you have Sunday, November 7th on your calendars. While this extension of our two-location worship schedule is important and valuable, I’m eager to gather our entire family together under one roof. In the meantime, may all of us keep safety and compassion in the forefront of all we do.