Presentation on theme: "The Secret Presence Peter Fitch, St. Croix Vineyard Sunday, May 18, 2014 Studies in James, Part 11."— Presentation transcript:
The Secret Presence Peter Fitch, St. Croix Vineyard Sunday, May 18, 2014 Studies in James, Part 11
James 5: Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.
James 5: Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.
James 5: Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit. 19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.
This Series (review next week) “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” Out of context, seems like an encouragement to pray In James 4, seems like an invitation to an economy of generosity rather than an economy of exploitation This can affect our understanding of the whole book of James
The Hidden Gem (prophetic community) Patiently endure the hardship of being a community of light that’s covered over by a community of darkness and greed Live between passivity and revolution Find the way to let the community of hope flourish even while the community of greed is swirling all around
This Week The wonderful realization that we are not alone in this—there is a “secret Presence” Our prayers don’t only change us—they are also amazingly effective in some situations We don’t understand all of this, but our job is to pray A gift has been given to and through the church
Importance notes In fact, the three historic weapons of the Church are confession, forgiveness, and renouncing evil—these are powerful still Elders are anchored in a community and they bear some responsibility for ushering in God’s Kingdom to the community
Last verses 19 My brethren, if any among you strays from the truth and one turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. In context: if someone is drifting toward the economy of exploitation and greed, return him or her to the economy of generosity!
Surprise Last week during worship singing I suddenly realized that we were headed toward this part of James and that we ought to have special prayers for healing this week with elders from our church anointing people with oil When I hinted at this, Brenda told me after the service that when ladies had gathered to pray for our community on the previous Monday, Lorraine had seen this:
Encouragement to Pray “Tonight as we were listening to Wanda read verses on healing, I saw Jesus holding a sponge that was being filled with oil by the reading of the word. As it was filled, Jesus would ring it out over us and this continued over and over as the word for healing was being read out loud.” – Lorraine MacDonald, Monday, May 5, 2014