My friends, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory, you must never treat people in different ways according to outward appearance. Suppose a rich man wearing a gold ring and fine clothes comes to your meeting, and a poor man in ragged clothes also comes. If you show more respect to the well dressed man and say to him, “ Have the best seat here,” but say to the poor man, “Stand over there or sit here on the floor by my feet,” then you are guilty of creating distinctions among yourselves and of making judgments based on evil motives.
Listen, my dear friends! God chose the poor people of this world to be rich in Faith and to possess the Kingdom which He promised to those who love Him.
We must Honour everyone especially the poor.
I remember reading a story from Grimm’s Fairy Tales about a family who had their sick father come to stay with them. He was a bit of a handful. He banged the plates missed his mouth spilling food everywhere at dinner time and generally making a big mess. His daughter-in-law was very unhappy about the arrangement and complained to her husband that his father interfered with her right to happiness. So they decided to place Dad on a stool in the corner of the kitchen where he received his food in an earthenware bowl. One day while on his stool eating his dinner his hands shook stronger than ever before and his bowl fell and broke.” If you are a pig, you must eat out of a trough,” said the daughter-in-law. So a small wooden trough was made and the father ate from it. Now in this family was a four year old son, of whom the parents were very proud. One night the father noticed the little boy playing with some pieces of wood and asked what are you doing? I’m making a trough to feed you and mummy out of when I get big, smiled the young boy. The man and his wife looked at each other and cried. They went to the corner and helped the old man back to the table. They sat him in a comfy chair and gave him his food on a plate, from then onwards he was never scolded when he broke a plate or made a mess.
In our reading James makes us aware of favoritism. He condemns it. It brings out the evil of overlooking the fact that every human being, irrespective of age, health or wealth needs to be treated with dignity and respect. Favouritism can take one of two forms: looking up to the rich and powerful or looking down on the weak and vulnerable. The Grimm’s tale focuses on the looking down on the old man. James 2:1NRSV “My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favouritism really believe in our Glorious Lord Jesus Christ? Brothers and Sisters we must always remember that we are Christians we are Christ like. He was able to treat everyone equally. Not one rule for the rich and a different one for the poor.
I have heard it said before by many, my mother quickly remembers what I did wrong, and is very slow to remember all the good things I have done. As our story tells us our children are watching, what we do they will follow. If they shout at you, were you shouting at them first?
We need to lead by example. We need to show everyone that we are Christ like in doing what we do, and not just people who only talk and do the opposite.
Come Holy Spirit and fill our hearts our minds our bodies and our souls with your Holy Gifts, and teach us to be more Christ like in all our actions. Amen.
Copyright 2009 Terry Jones (Caboolture, QLD)
El Shaddai House
Tel/Fax: (02) 9625 5333