James 2:1 – My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
Earlier this week, I was on a flight back from a pastor’s conference in Dallas. I had a flight scheduled, but ended up getting done a bit early, so I went to the airport to see if I could get on an earlier flight. The flight was sold out, but I was able to get on the standby list to see if I could get home a bit sooner.
So, they call my name, and I was able to get the last seat on the flight leaving sooner, which was great. So, tangentially, if you’re booking a flight, what would be your preferential seat? For me, it’s an aisle so if I need to get up, I can. But, if I can’t get that, I’ll take a window so at least I can sleep or look out the window. The worst seat? The middle seat. And what seat did they have available for me on this flight? You guessed it.
I walk onto the plane and on either side of my seat are two people who don’t necessarily fit in their seat. They asked if I wanted to sit down, but really, I think I would’ve rather gotten in the overhead bin at that moment. So, I sit down, and made the strategic error of putting my bag at my feet so now I have no room anywhere and I’m feeling claustrophobic.
So, I try to take a nap and I end up falling asleep. Suddenly, I wake up to a noise that sounds like a dinosaur on one side and a smell that smells like a diaper change on the other side. One person has their head on my shoulder and is loudly snoring in my ear. So, I turn the other way, and this guy has a large bucket of homemade chili. How he smuggled a bucket of chili onto an airplane I’m still not sure, but I digress.
Since I’m clearly not going back to sleep any time soon, I figure I might as well study the Word and start preparing for the weekend sermon. I open my laptop and up comes James 2 about cheap people getting bad seats. I kid you not, that’s my Bible study.
In that moment, I’m not going to lie to you, I did think about how much I do enjoy better seats but for how many of you, it feels like you’re in the middle seat of life? In James 2, he’s saying that, when people come into church, we need to consider them differently than we do in the world.
In the world, you get the seat you pay for but when somebody walks into God’s house, there’s a reason we don’t sell tickets. It’s free; our God does grace.
Thank God that we can’t pay more to earn our salvation and that He is a God of grace.