Yesterday we read about the disciples displeasure with someone acting in Jesus’ name. John wasn’t telling Jesus this to confess his bad attitude; I think he told Jesus because he thought his Master would be proud of him!
If only John had already known the words of Pastor James, in chapter 5, verse 16: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results (NLT).
This kind of confessional and prayerful living takes great transparency and great trust. This is the kind of life we are called to! Yet . . . so often there is no space for grace amongst believers. There is no room for confession, no room for prayer because the Church rushes to judgment and opinions. That’s what the disciples did in yesterday’s reading. And today, James reminds us to be better than that . . . to stay true to the Way.
Friends, it is so easy for me to react, and so difficult to respond. It’s so easy to give advice, and so difficult to give attention. It’s so easy to bring judgment, and so difficult to bring joy. But I am called to learn to live like Jesus did – we all are! – so today I am praying that we will find room in our hearts to make space for grace – for ourselves and for each other.