Sunday, February 11, 2024

James 2:1-13

Bias can be a sneaky thing. We are prone to make judgments about people based on their color, how much they weigh, what their hairstyle is, or what kind of clothing they wear. God told Samuel, “Man does not see what the LORD sees, for man sees what is visible, but the LORD sees the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). We should remember that every person is made in the image of God, and because of this, they deserve to be treated with dignity, kindness, and respect.

Starting Out:
1. Have you ever felt judged or overlooked in the eyes of someone else?

Read James 2:1-7:
2. Why is it wrong for a church to value the rich over the poor? Is it wrong to value the poor over the rich?
3. Is there a kind of person who might feel uncomfortable in a worship service at the Chapel? If so, what might be done to put them at ease?

Read James 2:8-11:
4. How is it that if we break only one law, we have broken them all?
5. How does James’ point relate to the two greatest commandments? (Matt 22:34-40)
6. How is the prejudicial rejection of a person a failure to love them? How is it a failure of loving God?

Read James 2:12-13:
7. What does it mean for mercy to triumph over judgement?
8. What is the law of liberty, and how does it help us to overcome partiality?
9. If we do not show mercy to others, what will become of us? Can you think of anywhere else in the Bible where our mercy towards others affects God’s judgment of us?

Taking it Home:
10. Differing views on diversity, equity, and inclusion are lightning rods in American politics. How should the church of Jesus engage with these principles within our doors?
11. In the church, does treating people equally always mean treating everyone the same?
12. Can you think of an opportunity to serve others that would make you feel uncomfortable?

Other Scriptures to engage with this week:
Acts 6:1-7, Leviticus 19:9-18, Romans 2:1-11