Sunday Evenings: Your Daily Walk ...[Wisdom of James]
Your Daily Walk -
What Faith IS & How Faith is LIVED out.
[Wisdom of James].
This is a very relevant question for every christian down through the ages. It is a wrestle to live by faith in a world that says otherwise.
James offers us WISDOM. To take wisdom as an aid to exploring James we should understand it. In Hebrew hokmah = the gift of discernment, ie knowing the right thing to do, or how to judge and evaluate what s presented to you. Eg Proverbs. More generally Wisdom begins with the notion of reverence for God, which is seen as the key to the good life. Wisdom teaches the art of steering life’s difficulties and how to live long, live well, and live in an upright fashion.
Wisdom literature has clear intent to help shape behaviour using NOT command, but persuasion. This literature is full of metaphor. It uses images, analogies, even humour. Often these images are dramatic and therefore memorable. It calls on the hearers to listen well, ruminate on what is said and interpret it and apply it. Indeed, Jesus ministry is full of wisdom sayings and figures of speech which seem rooted in the wisdom tradition.
So if we ask - What is the shape of Christian faith today? How to practice faith today? James helps us engage in a fresh way with such questions. The Wisdom of James is rooted in the likes of Proverbs, Job, but also Jesus sayings/teachings and therefore wisdom which is not overtly quoted '‘ says/said…’ but is woven throughout his argument/case in the letter.- seek wisdom a practical sort in order to cope with life’s trials and temptations. (1v2-6). James does not call on us to observe life or nature around us to gain wisdom. Rather In James he suggestion is that Wisdom should be sought from God. Indeed, the beginning of James resonates with the exhortation in the Apocrypha - Book of Wisdom 7 v7 ‘Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me; I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.’