Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.
1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Trials and temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
It is a short reading this week, so I can give you a little background to the book. You might want to look back at this info in later weeks. We will be going through the book of James together.
The author is thought to have been Jesus’ half brother, who was known as “James the Just”. He was a leader in the Jerusalem church and he probably wrote the book around ten years after Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Like the writer of Hebrews, as we mentioned last week, James is almost certainly writing to Jewish Christians, under persecution and perhaps starting to lose their enthusiasm a bit!
James calls them ‘the Dispersion’ to remind them of the time when Israel and Judah were conquered (hundreds of years before), and the people of God were exiled.
How do you think the Jews of the exile were able to hold onto their faith while separated and in foreign lands?
How might James’ audience have held onto a sense of togetherness, even though they were so far apart?
In what ways did Jesus encourage us to keep faith when things are hard? (You can look back at the book of Matthew for help)
Father God, please hold the people of your church together in your hands. Let us at Bures Baptist be together still, in one mind and spirit, a family, at this hard time and always.
Offer to God your own:
Bless one another as you finish – for example ‘I bless you now, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirt.