Thursday, September 01, 2005

James 3:13-4:12

13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.

As I write this, it is hard to think about much else other than the devestation along the Gulf Coast. The emotional impact reminds me of... September 11.

Though in many ways these tragic events are very different, both remind me how vulnerable we all really are. Living in America it is easy to forget that. But like September 11, this is something that drives our vulnerability home.

That vulnerability--the realization that everything we are and everything we have can be completely swept away--is painful. But it is also at the very heart of the humility spoken of in this passage. The person who doesn't realize that,living their life in pursuit of the good things of this world, is with complete certainty in for a rude awakening.

So what are the good deeds that come from this humility? I'd suggest they are the deeds of love and compassion that manifest themselves in very real sacrifice. When we sacrifice what we could have in this world to reach out to others, we are living the good life that demonstrates we are indeed citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, and Friends of God.

It demonstrates that we love others more than we love our things; that we are more willing to serve than simply seek our pleasure; that we value our deep connections with each other more than we value selfishness.

Dear Brothers and Sisters--how will we sacrifice; genuinely sacrifice--to help in this time of desparate need?

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