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Epistle of James: A Story

Roger walked into the cold harsh chuch. His feet were bare–the jacket full of holes, but not holy–and looked to the ground.

It had been five years since he held down a job.  Sunday’s he would stop in at places like this, wherever he happened to be in the United States, and would sit in the back and slip out before people could leave.

“Hello,” pastor Xavier said to a man in a three piece suit passing Roger right by. “How are you Mr. Vestulas?”

Mr. Vestulas, as he was known, was a multi-millionaire and Xavier made it a point to greet him in person each week and to walk him to his seat.

Roger was never acknowledged.  Roger was the person that they talk about in church.

He sat in the back and no one sat next to him.  He didn’t smell good.  He didn’t look good.  He wasn’t good.

At the last worship song, Roger does the usual slip out the back so that people won’t stare at him.  He doesn’t like the stare.  Disapproving.  Judgmental.  Haughty.

My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.  Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in.

If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?

-James 2

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