Yesterday I finished the Bible study “James: Mercy Triumphs,” written by Beth Moore and her daughter, Melissa Fitzpatrick. (No, I am not telling you that you have to do this study or that you have to like Beth Moore). As soon as I completed the final lesson, I broke down in sobs. This is not my usual reaction to finishing a Bible study.
I tried to pray, but couldn’t even find the words. It was one of those “Holy Spirit groaning” kind of moments, you know what I mean? I sensed God saying to me, “It’s okay.” And then I realized what touched me so deeply about this Bible study: James got it. I mean, he GOT IT. l’m not saying that the other authors of Scripture didn’t understand, but there’s something different about James. He saw the intimate connection between faith and works. He had no patience for all talk and no walk.
Protestants are pretty uncomfortable with James, but this, by far, has been my favorite Bible study. I want to do this thing, live this life of faith. Really LIVE it, you know? Words are hollow and meaningless when they aren’t shored up by the hands of active love.
I’d love to hear what you all think about the Book of James, or about other books of Scripture that move you, especially as we move closer to Holy Week and Easter.