Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Meditation: B 15 Pentecost 18 Proper 9 September 2012

James ends “Faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.”  Mark shows Jesus doing two distinctive works. Each is a dramatic story, but Jesus tells his followers to keep them a secret, but “they zealously proclaimed the cures.” Jesus does what James says, and we see what faith in action can look like. We find James challenging: “Can faith save you? If someone around you has a need, and yet you do not supply those needs, what’s the good of that?” It looks so obvious, heroic, and possible when Jesus acts decisively, but how do we act on some possible scale to address what James says to do. We can’t heal like Jesus, but somehow filling ordinary needs doesn’t feel to us like enough proof of faith. The charitable acts we do, just seem socially conditioned, so how do we demonstrate faith persuasively to ourselves, to God?