Saturday, September 03, 2005

James 5:7-12, 19-20

Rain, at the seasons of God’s appointing, brings life and sustenance to the earth, and farmers learn to wait on the seasonal rains—as their livelihood requires. This past week, we have seen all too horribly clearly how rain (and wind and storm surges) can also bring devastation and death. In these times, and especially for those who have been displaced by the flood waters, it is hard if not impossible to comprehend how to be patient and persevering.

Nearly 2000 years ago James said that the Judge was at the door; and still we are waiting. It would be naive not to consider, and plan for, the possibility that some catastrophe may befall us in the time ahead—soon or later. James, in the only New Testament verse that names Job, cites the familiar example of perseverance in the face of relentless suffering.
Again and again we are told, by prophets and by our Lord, and even warned in the most serious tones, BE READY. Indeed, we should make ready not merely our homes, but our hearts as well. We must be ready to persevere, even if the relief we seek is not soon in coming.

Ultimately, what indeed are the levees in our lives to hold back the waters of destruction? Nothing that we own cannot be “overtopped”—ultimately all that we have is Christ alone. But we are commanded to make the love of Christ manifest in our community through love for one another, to redirect the wandering among us, to shore up the weak, and thereby “cover a multitude of sins.”

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