James 5:17-18 – Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
In light of James’ “get ‘er done” attitude as the blue-collar scholar of the New Testament, it makes sense that he ends with ministry. After learning, he expects us to be doing ministry. Like a dad who teaches you how to drive by throwing you the keys, rather than giving us long complicated detailed instructions, as you would expect, he gives us some of the clearest ministry directives you will ever find, expecting the Holy Spirit to help you figure it out by doing it.
- Suffering? Pray for them.
- Cheerful? Sing with them.
- Sick? Anoint and pray for them.
- Sinning? Confess it.
- Unhealthy? Pray for each other.
- Powerless? Pray some more.
- Wandering? Bring them back.
- Don’t believe me? Elijah was a regular guy like you and God used him for big things so go do something and see what God does.
The Apostle Paul reminds me of a finely tuned German sports car. James reminds me of a dented old farm truck that smells like the hound dog that sits in the passenger seat with its head hanging out the window being driven out to the fields for an honest day’s work. This may explain why scholars love Paul, and sheet rockers like James. I kind of see James writing this letter on a lunch break eating a sandwich because:
Faith don’t need to be fancy.
Holiness don’t need to be haughtiness.
Ministry don’t need to be misery.
Wisdom don’t need be wily.
Christianity don’t need to be complicated.
What is God calling you to do? Who is God calling you to serve? Where is God calling you to work? Time to get to work…