Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Due to a technology fail, the recording of this week’s sermon was deleted. Briefly, the message for this week was the first in a series of five on the Letter of James, which has not often been studied in many Lutheran Christian circles because of Martin Luther’s disdain for the letter. His main objection: that in his (mis)reading of the letter, the insistence of works as a sort of “confirmation” of one’s faith was more readily used by his Roman Catholic opponents than by him and his “evangelical” contemporaries. More on that in later weeks.
For this week, we focused on 1:17-27, which invites us into the main question posed by the letter of James: “You’ve been saved? So what? What does the life of discipleship look like from the other side of salvation?” Our present reading presents four ideas as a jumping off point: 1) Listen with humility to the word (contained primarily, but not exclusively in Scripture) that has been implanted in your heart; 2) respond to that word by faithful obedience; 3) Be slow to speak and slow to anger, a particularly important reminder in a world in which outrage has become a sort of national pastime; and 4) Recognize yourself as being given every good gift by God, and respond by giving in turn to those in need.
Thanks for reading; sermon audio returns in the sermon for September 16.