“Who does God belong to?”
We think James must be simply talking to those “other people.” We think of Wall Street bankers, billionaire CEOs, big oil tycoons, predatory loaners, slum development landlords. And we want to stand next to James and point our fingers and say, “Look how greedy they are.”
But there is another way of reading this passage. It is a more challenging way. What if James isn’t just speaking to that other table? What if he’s not just speaking to them or those people? What if he is also speaking to us?
“Are any of you suffering?” James asks. “Are any of you cheerful? Are any of you sick?” Whatever you are going through, he is saying to us, come together and pray. Share your burdens and lift them up to God.
“The great myth of Christianity is that once you are a Christian, all your problems disappear.
That is not true. We as Christians go through the same heartache, the same trouble, the same difficult decisions and trials as everyone else. The difference is that when we go through these dark valleys, we don’t believe that we are alone.”