Cultural prejudice

“Listen, my dear brothers and sisters: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?” James 2:5

Back in the middle of 2001 while living in Haiti and beginning to visit Lutheran churches and schools in the districts there were several times where Haitian culture within families was quite an education.  Quite often while staying outside of Port-au-Prince with local Pastors it was common at some of the homes that at meal time on Sunday the men were seated at the table and given their food while the wife and children stood in the room, quietly waiting and watching until it was their turn to take their place at the table after the men had finished; age and gender had their perks.  At the time that James wrote the above verse it was common for the culture of early Christians to give a wealthy man a place of honor at a gathering.  It would be equally typical to expect a poor, dirty man to stand in the corner, or to sit on the floor.  James insists, though, that our belief in Christ should change the way we treat everyone.  We must not let the prejudice of culture, or the allure of wealth determine our standards.  In the schools where Trinity/HOPE feeds children it seems typical to witness the children receiving their food first, then the teachers and cooks and lastly the principal.  James word’s encourage each of us to treat each other as being equal as God’s children.  Jesus went to the cross for all sinners; here and there, rich, poor, men and women…all of God’s children.    

“Each generation looks for truth and doubt can trouble age or youth.  If other gods would take your place, remember us with love and grace.  Reclaim us if we go astray; You are the Truth, the Life, the Way.  I AM forever WHO I AM.  Above you, beneath you, around you and within you; be still and know that I am God.”

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

May God be with you…Jay