Highworth United Reformed Church

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James 4:13 - 5:20

The basic theme of this final section of the letter is that God governs human life and that this is central in the humility of the righteous.   And in this final section James returns to matters we have already read about:
         *   The relationship between rich/poor
         *   The need of patience until judgement
         *   Integrity in speech.

The theme that James wants those who read this to bear in mind is that God's judgement will establish justice.

The sections here deal with:

     1.   Future plans:  not plans as such but a warning against arrogance,  which ends p being a rejection            of God.   The importance of doing what they know is right.

     2.   The injustice of the rich:  James refers to the increase of wealth and that is the result of not                       being  just to the workers.   There is hoarding AND there is wrong-doing against others.   There               is a social responsibility towards others.

     3.   Patience in awaiting God's final word:   in this he seems to refer to 1:2-4, with the sense of living              faithfully in the "in between time" the "not yet".   It establishes a life style where one's word is                  worthy.  "Yes- Yes,  No-No".

     4.   Prayer for the sick:   This seems to be directed at concrete situations within the community.   The            usual understanding is that it is the power of God that acts rather than the individuals involved.              What seems to be involved here is the 'healing' of being public about be it health or sin.   In an                  intention of health not gossip.

     5.   The wholeness and the well-being of the community is to the benefit of all involved.

All this is about fullness of life for all, in the context of a caring and loving community.   When this does not occur there is injustice,  there is sin,  there is pain.   James wishes the community of faith to walk the path that leads to the encounter with God.