Today's reading: James 2
You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." James 2:8 NRSV
James is in the midst of trying to convince folks in the church not to show favoritism to those members who are wealthy, good-looking, powerful, etc. He is trying to get them to see that loving your neighbor as yourself includes the poor, dirty, smelly, ethnic and different-looking folks. He says that if a person judges others with love, that person will be judged by God with love. Likewise, if we judge someone harshly or on our own expectations, we will be judged by God in the same way. If you really loved your neighbor as yourselves, you would not have this favoritism problem, James argues.
You and I need to take a good look to see if we are truly loving others as ourselves, especially in the worshiping community. Do we show favoritism to those who work harder, give more money or have positions of power in the church? Do we speak more often to those persons who like us and favor us? Do we welcome God's guests who look more like us rather than those who look different?
Spend sometime today thinking about whether you show prejudice or love on Sunday mornings.
God, I pray that we all will love our neighbors as ourselves on Sundays... and the other six days of the week. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims