Daily Office Readings for Friday of Proper 17 Year 1
“Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (James 4:14)
James spends a few words warning us against seeking wealth and living a life without being aware of what God might have planned for us. He refers to us as a mist, a very temporary existence.
We, I think especially Christians; spend an inordinate amount of time remembering death. I was amazed at how beautiful the Galilee area of Israel was when I visited there last year. We went to Galilee first and then ended with three days in Jerusalem. Of course much was made of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the place where Jesus was believed to be crucified and buried.
By contrast, to the north in Galilee, not much was made of the “mist” of Jesus that taught us how to pray, and where he fed the multitudes, and where he gave the Sermon on the Mount, and where he healed many, and where he turned water into wine and so on, and on. All of us in the group were led to hold our reverence for the place where Jesus was tortured, and led to his death.
We do the same thing today. We have the shrine of 9/11 in New York and special reverence for that date that will be here in 3 days, it will be a Monday this year. Also, there are highway memorials all over our country marking places with flower covered crosses where a loved one was killed in an accident. I understand it but perhaps there should be some token of remembrance at the person’s worksite, or school, or home, or somewhere at his or her church. Perhaps a picture placed where he or she liked to be while they were still with us in their mist state.
You and I are a mist right now. How do you want to be remembered? Jesus said that he wanted to be remembered when we consumed the bread and wine, his body and blood. He said, “Do this in remembrance of me.” This is recorded in all of the synoptic Gospels and 1Cor. 11:24 & 25. The cross was a Roman death tool but we have taken it as a memorial of murder: something to ponder.
St James asks, “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Let us not only praise Jesus but let’s obey his wishes also.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through God’s people. John+