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Sermon James 2.1-13

Sermon James 2.1-13

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Published by Mike Newman

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Published by: Mike Newman on Oct 14, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Everybody WelcomeJames 2.1-1326 September 2010
Those of us who attend church regularly might like to think that it is aneasy place in which to feel at home. That isn’t necessarily the case as wehave been discovering these last few weeks….Mr BeanWhy are we running this series?
To help those of us who are members of St Cuthbert’s think about thewelcome we give to our visitors
To consider what it means to be church and explore some of the bible’steaching that is pertinent to this theme.Both theory and practice
Why is it important?
Because wrongly or rightly we will be judged on the welcome we giveor do not giveService is important and it is very easy to put people off with a single badexperiencec.f. AmazonAs I said the other week and re-iterate now, this isn’t the sole answer to thechurch’s problems, but it does tackle one part of them – the back door 
Because the church, if it is to be the church as God wants it to be,needs to be constantly re-assessing and re-contextualising its approachto ministryThe 1887 buildingThe 1960 buildingThe 2005 buildingVery significant changes in the fifteen or so years that I have attended thischurch.c.f. my first ever Church Committee meeting and the decision aboutcoffee!
Because the church has a very important role to play in society, a rolethat perhaps, like Avondale Leisure Centre, people only notice when itis not present.
And so, the first week we looked at the role the church is called to play asthe point of connection between a world of people who need God and aGod who longs for the world to know, love and obey Him.Mention AlphaThen last week we thought about some of the challenges we face inmaking the church truly accessible to all comers c.f. EVERYBODYWelcome. We also considered Jesus’ teaching that welcoming or notwelcoming others provides a litmus test of how much we welcome or notwelcome Him, hence the topic’s seriousness.This week we are going to look at part of the letter of James which hasrelevance for our theme. James was one of Jesus’ brothers who became animportant leader in the early church and wrote a very practical letter toJewish Christians about thirty or so years after Jesus’ death andresurrection. James is very concerned that people truly live out their faithin a challenging environment in which many Christians (c.f. James 1.22Doers of the word KJV)In particular, in the passage we read, James tackles the issue of favouritism – literally ‘receiving or respecting face’, judging people on the externals -for the church to whom he writes were showing an undue deference to therich and a distinct lack of concern for the poor. This prejudice wasevidenced by their treatment of visitors to their services.By examining what James had to say about this issue we can get an angleon what God wishes to say to us today. This is how Christians believescripture works….

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