Epistle for this Sunday: St James 1, verses 17-21
St. James reminds us that goods and endowments worth having comes to us from above: they are sent to us by the Father of all that gives light. If you take the time to read the Epistle , then you will realize that the message for us today is about our Christian lives, our actions, they should mirror our faith. Sadly if we look around us in the turmoil of this world, then we realise that there is so much room for improvement in all areas of our lives.
Before I became an ordained Priest, I worked for a number of years as a middle Manager in a Bank here in Australia. There was a lot of sexual harassment around me going on and every day one had to listen to colleagues swearing at work. One needed a lot of courage to stand up to that and I was told when I complained to my Senior Manager about the swearing , that I would risk a bad appraisal. But we have to confess Christ Crucified in our daily lives and try to set an example by our mission of encouragement and example. At the moment our Banking Industry is very much in the news by scandals of corruption and deceit. What a challenge it must be now for Christian people still trying to pursue their career in this industry.
St.James tells us that we need to rid ourselves of all defilement.
We are also being asked to be ready listeners, to speak our mind slowly, not to take offence, because man's anger does not bear fruit. If we look at our Parliament, especially during the last few years, then we see the opposite. Also in the Church of God, within the various Jurisdictions we cannot bring up any patience for one another to work together in peace and Holiness for the coming of God's Kingdom on earth.
As you and I have accepted God's gifts to us all , then there can be no change and no swerving from His course. Remember the story of St. Peter, who was confronted by those who were arresting Jesus, when asked if he had been with Jesus, he denied it. Our answer, if asked must be yes, because we cherish God's Word implanted in us and this will ultimately bring the salvations of our souls.
As we are still in the Easter season, let us remember that the Lord has triumphed: the power of the Lord has brought us great honour. Hallelujah. Christ, now that He has risen from the dead, cannot die any more: death has no more power over Him. Hallelujah.
Father Ed Bakker,
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne,