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Feast of St. James of Jerusalem 2019

Feast of St. James of Jerusalem 2019


Hi everybody mother Jenna here father Greg we are breaking into your day today because the church calendar is breaking into our Calendar breaking into our day with the feast of Saint James of Jerusalem not to be confused with st. James the The major st. James the lesser. There are three James and today’s st. James of Jerusalem brother of our Lord So I and we are coming to you from our preschool garden In this beautiful little nook area that has a name it was dedicated to someone and I don’t know who it is But it has nothing to do with st. James but it’s real pretty so it is so pretty out here today Yeah, so I’m gonna read from the Acts of the Apostles one of the readings appointed for today And this is when when the the council at Jerusalem is getting together to figure out what what to do with these pesky Gentiles the whole assembly kept silence And listen to Barnabas and Paul as they told of all the signs and wonders that God had done through them among the Gentiles After they finished speaking james replied my brothers listen to me Simeon has related How God first looked favorably on the gentiles to take from among them of people for his name? And then he goes on to quote to quote the prophets About the gentiles also being brought in to call the God of Israel their God And he said he was on therefore I have reached the decision that we should not trouble those Gentiles who are turning to God But we should write to them to abstain only from things polluted by idols and from fornication And from whatever has been strangled and from blood All right, all right, so maybe we should set the stage that’s kind of a weird reading to jump into yeah, so St. James of Jerusalem Was an elder in the in the church in Jerusalem given authority because he was Jesus’s brother, Jesus’s close relative And so when there was this disagreement between sort of the parties as Peter and Paul kind of argued about it Gentiles who are becoming Christians should they have to adhere to the laws of Torah or not? They went to James to settle the dispute and that’s this little scene we get from today. So What about st. James are you thinking about I’m kind of teeing you up to what he said you talked about? well, mainly just singing a song that I probably sing too much but just A reminder that that God is calling all of us to ministry and that Christ’s body is is diverse in Christ body is Looks very different in different places and looks very different at different stages of one’s life and looks very different in different economic and social and cultural and civic contexts and all that kind of stuff and that it It really calls us to lead with with grace and trust that People are doing their best to follow God and not with not leading with suspicion and outrage When it looks different than us, not that everything those you know, not that not that everything is the same but but beginning with an assumption of trust and and Well with trust and and our collect today For st. James of Jerusalem has this great line. It says grant that following the example of James your church may give itself Continually to prayer into the reconciliation of all who are at variance in enmity. So what the variance part, what it’s talking about You know the other part of it is even the enmity so that we might pray for reconciliation even for those with whom we have good real Conflict or disagreement that Even then we’re to pray for reconciliation right? Not just for somebody who’s doing it a little different How about you? What’s James got you saying? Today, so right well not I mean not I I agree with everything you said and I kind of want to lift up the other side which is that we see them actually kind of getting into right like we see a model of what good Discernment or parties feel strongly like I feel like so often in the church We we avoid conflict or we avoid arguing and kind of favor Well, everybody just do what you wanna do and that’s not that’s not what I mean Not that you weren’t saying they were but it’s really this model of like looking to scripture Looking for the work of God among them like doing this genuine prayerful theologically grounded work of discernment in order to make decisions about what what it is that God asks of us and expects of our behavior, so Again, that’s not in conflict what you were saying? But it lifts up another another part of it that I think the church today has something to learn from and Could maybe could maybe do to kind of go back to a model like this? Sometimes when we when we find ourselves asking like what is it? We are called to do as church is part of it to be with one another. and speaking of how those contexts are my mentor Said he was once a rector in your home state of New Jersey and he said the difference was in, Georgia We smile at you and stab you in the back and in New Jersey They just look you right in the eye while they do it That’s right. That’s right. Maybe that’s where’s the moment? Oh, yeah, we need some. Oh, yeah, totally weird that happened, but that’s good That’s how it’s supposed to be Let’s pray and ask St. James to pray for the church Grant O God that following the example of your servant James the Just brother of our Lord Your church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God now and forever and Hey, just one more thing. Yeah in the midst of that I mean think about James What it would be like to think what didn’t what would my brother do in this moment I Mean, that’s a whole nother You know and there were times when Jesus was very confrontational in times when he was like you’re just worried about the wrong things Let’s just move on but to think The old what would Jesus do thing that would be very different than it was your brother? Yeah All right. Happy feast of Saint James of Jerusalem everybody. We’ll see you soon.

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