James laments (James 2:6,7) our tendency to give deference to the rich for he realizes they are the ones who have power to drag the poor into court. Their wealth may come from taking advantage of the poor. And often they do not acknowledge the hand of God in their lives. That is not all wealthy people but… Today we call it systemic evil and our TVs show pictures of rioters standing against the evil of wealth. This is not just a “long ago” perception.
My mind goes to the text for Sunday that talks about a man owing a large debt to his master, who pleads for mercy. The master does not throw him in jail to collect his due but rather shows mercy, releasing the slave. BUT the man shown mercy goes out, forgetting what he has seen in the mirror, and throws a fellow servant in jail for the very small debt he owes our man. This is wrong. People shown mercy should show mercy.
God of course is the owner and we are the servants who owe. Can you hear the song in your mind, “What can I give unto the Lord, for all, for all, for all he’s done for me? I”ll off the cup of salvation and fall, and fall on my knees. (https://soundcloud.com/hymnstream/what-shall-i-give-unto-the )
James is challenging us that our actions should reflect the character of the God we believe in. Favoritism does not reflect a God who loves all and died for all Favoritism does not reflect the mercy we have all received from God. Christ healed the rich and the poor, ate with the rich and the poor, and died for all. May we be aware today how reflect the reality of a God who has been so merciful to us. Blessings.