Tonight, we visited Matt and Lauren's Small Group. We studied James 5. It was an interesting, but tense discussion.
Someone drove a BMW to Small Group.
James pounds on the rich in the fifth chapter of his epistle: "weep and howl for the miseries which are coming upon you," "your gold and silver have rusted and their rust will be a witness against you," etc.
He paints with a broad brush stroke. He doesn't just confront the abusive rich or the unethical rich or the greedy rich. Just the rich. And he doesn't define rich.
I mean, someone drove a BMW to Small Group.
All through Small Group we were ducking and diving like James was actually in the room with us busting paintball caps left and right. We hid behind chairs and under couches like thieves trying to escape the watchful eye of a security guard.
We aren't the rich Small Group.
Isn't it really the heart that matters?
God gave us the money, it's his fault.
Well, we don't want to be the judgemental Small Group.
My conscience is clean.
I know a guy who's rich and generous.
We shouldn't do anything out of shame.
If I don't say anything, Small Group will end quicker.
I need the BMW for work.
That was our night in Scripture. James is unflinching and hard-driving and difficult to escape. The BMW parked outside might as well have been the big, black, beautiful elephant sitting in the center of the room.
How do we read James as a Small Group? I don't exactly know.
What I do know is that without Small Group, we just wouldn't read James. At least, we wouldn't read all of it.