Sunday, September 09, 2012

Now to live the life!

JAMES 2: 1-17 (Message for an all-age service)

Hello!  I’m a veeery nice Christian lady you know!
Yes, I’m sure you can tell that just by looking at me!
This is a very nice church, oh yes.
I usually sit next to Mary, “Alright, Mary, how are you my love?”
Mary works in that nice little shop in the town.
She’s got two boys – done alright for themselves they have.
One of them works in an office… It’s got marble steps y’know!
Looks very smart in his suit and tie.
Oh and Ade (he sits just in front of me… yes, that’s him)
Well Ade’s just had a promotion – worked hard for it he did.
Yes, nice people here they are.
D’you know what happened a couple of weeks ago though?
Well, we were singing the second hymn –
Nice one it was –
And this bloke came into the church.
I don’t mean to be rude, but he was a bit whiffy!
Smelt like he hadn’t had a good wash for a while.
I mean, he looked a bit rough, tucked my handbag right under my chair, I did.
I did see Ade go over and speak to him though,
Sat next to him for the service –
They came up for communion together I seem to remember.
Yes, that’s right – I gave the cup an extra wipe when it got to me…
…well, you just don’t know do you?
Ade and Flora sat down and had a cuppa with him after the service
Well, I would’ve done, but I really needed to catch up with Mary.
It was then it happened, while they were drinking tea!
Jesus it was!  He was in the church – I hadn’t noticed him!
And do you know what he did?
Went straight up to that whiffy bloke and gave him a hug!
A right bear of a hug it was too as if he was a long-lost son or something!
(Mrs. Pugh had a bit of a tut about that – well, I mean, as we both said –
We’ve been coming here a lot longer).
I did notice something though; it was his smile –
I saw it when he turned and smiled at Ade and Flora –
it was like pure warm honey when he smiled, I won’t forget that.
Then they were talking
I couldn’t hear what they were saying,
But Ade got up and went out to the back room.
When he came back he had a bag of clothes in his hand…
We collect them at our church… I brought in some of my Sid’s old trousers a while back.
Not sure he’d be very happy about that bloke having them – his best one’s were in there; I thought they might go to someone… well… a bit more deserving!
Jesus looked pleased though.
And he took off his jacket and gave it to the bloke too (well you didn’t think he’d be wearing centuries old desert stuff here did you?)
It was then that he looked at me… I thought he looked a bit sad really.
I looked at my watch
Time was getting on a bit and I had to get the roast in the oven
So I left then… Well, what would you do?

What would you do?

Have you heard, really heard, what James has to say about following Jesus?
James’s letter could perhaps be summed up in the words ‘Now live the life’.  Don’t just be full of words or songs, but be full of loving kindness too – live the Jesus life, don’t just talk the Jesus life!  Don’t show favouritism to the people you think deserve it – let your mercy triumph over judgement; and love all those God brings across your path; don’t see someone in need and just wish them well, but be practical and meet their needs.  Then you’re loving like Jesus loves.  Was that woman who was speaking ‘loving her neighbour as herself’?

I’m going to play for you part of a song, and I think this song in a way summarises the heart of the letter of James… (Matt Redman 'Now to live the life')

Many are the words we speak
Many are the songs we sing
Many kinds of offerings
But now to live the life
Help us live the life


At September 09, 2012 1:48 am, Blogger Martha Spong said...

Your character comes alive! Well done.

At September 09, 2012 8:36 pm, Blogger Rev Nancy Fitz said...

whoa, hard to preach James and you did a great job. thanks.

At September 14, 2012 1:43 pm, Blogger Chelley said...

Thank you both for your comments and encouragement! :D


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