[reaction to OYB’s Nov. 17-21 readings]
Today’s readings include the entire letter of James, and the most famous chapter Ezekiel. The latter is so famous it’s a song, YouTube version. In Ezekiel 14, like end of Isaiah and Jeremiah, we get a peak at some hope with the famous vision of the dry bones, once Ezekiel prophesies to them as instructed by YHWH, come back to life.
James is probably my favorite letter so far. James says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (1:22) Also, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (1:27). In political terms, that would be fiscally liberal, socially conservative. On the idea of faith or works, James says, “faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” (2:17) Finally, the letter supports not giving up on people by concluding, “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (5:19)