How can the Book of James help us in 2022? Did you know that along with Galatians the Book of James is probably the earliest writing of the New Testament, being written around 49AD, which is 16 or 19 years after the death of Christ (two scholastic dates given for Christ’s death are 30AD and 33AD). James was Christ’s oldest earthly brother and a leader in the Jerusalem Church, so he comes with great credentials.
In the third year of this pandemic, when we are all feeling the weariness of Lockdowns and restrictions, we risk becoming self-centred and self-protecting. Not only can we become mentally insular, but we can also stop looking out for the well-being of others as we focus on ourselves and our family. As God is in full control of our world He is allowing this pandemic to be. I don’t understand the reason any more than you, but what I do know is that He wants the church to rise and shine.
James’s focus is on how Christian behaviour should reflect Christian faith. We cannot just believe with our head, we must believe with our heart, hands, feet, and mouths. We must be the ones who come to the aid of a supermarket worker being verbally abused by a frustrated customer. We must be the ones who check on our neighbours.
James compared Christians to fruit trees who bear only the kind of fruit that belongs to them. The Holy Spirit produces this fruit in our lives: “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,” Galatians 5:22-23. Which of these fruits would you like to witness more of in 2022? Jesus said, “Let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father,” Mt 5:16. So let’s keep shining our lights for Jesus, because “those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled,” Mt 5:6.
May God bless you richly as you endeavour to reflect Him.