You’ve read and heard reflections from me on James 5, too, this century. It’s usually late September or early October when the lectionary ends its read-through of James, and other agenda takes over worship, like worldwide communion, Thanksgiving, and the first cycle of Sunday School. This year, our guests from the local social development centre preached it powerfully, as ‘outsider’ status neighbours. I appear to have used James 5 once in Advent - hopefully in wider conversations, as well.
2006: Jesus the Exorcist
2015 Patience (3) Advent 3:
1 Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you.
2Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten.
3Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days.
4Listen! The wages of the labourers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.
5You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts on a day of slaughter.
6You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.
7 Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.
8You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.
9Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors!
10As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.
11Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
12 Above all, my beloved, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your ‘Yes’ be yes and your ‘No’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
13 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.
14Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.
15The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.
16Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
17Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.
18Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.
19 My brothers and sisters if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another,
20you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner’s soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.