This week, our text is from James, chapter 2.
It's a challenge to us--a reminder that we shouldn't welcome rich people and be less-than-welcoming to poor people.
This is work enough for the church.
Just this past week, I had a conversation with someone, who would not count herself as part of the church. And is reticent to join--mostly because it looks like church people are all perfect. (And, really, probably not that much fun to be with.)
Her description made me think of church membership as being like the "No Cavity Club" that my dentist had when I was a kid. If you could go the whole year, between check-ups, with no new cavities, he'd take your picture (with a Polaroid camera), and post it on the bulletin board. And you got a treat. (Not candy, of course...)
I think church often looks like the No Cavity Club--folks who have it together, who dress nicely, and who are probably rich.
In James, it's different.
And it also continues. "Is it not the rich who oppress you?"
More than just welcoming poor people, we are called to identify with them, and to seek out answers to poverty.
May it be so.