Tag Archives: wisdom from above

Faith Works: We Don’t Do That Here – Sermon on James 3:13 -4:3, 7-11a

September 19, 2021

A young musician was substituting for the principal clarinet in the Chicago Symphony. Wanting to make a good impression, she prepared her music carefully, memorized all the hard passages, and when the time came to take her place for her first rehearsal, she played her heart out, dramatically moving with the music and waving her clarinet expressively as she played.

When there was a pause in the rehearsal, she smiled at the player sitting next to her. But he frowned at her, and said, “we don’t do that here.” In the Chicago Symphony, the focus is on the music, not the drama.

We’ve been working our way through the book of James, and I’ve mentioned before that this book, even though it comes in the form of a letter, really has more in common with Old Testament Wisdom literature than Paul’s letters to the early church. James has encouraged us to accept all people without showing favoritism to the rich. He’s taught us to listen first and speak second, and when we do speak, to mind our tongues.

This is all part of becoming more like Jesus, that process we call discipleship. As we work our faith, our faith begins to work in us, and our focus is more and more on Jesus, not the drama. Continue reading