We need now to turn to the sadness of how the church appears to many, and to how the messianic community connected to James was behaving (James 4:1-3):
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You
want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot
have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you
do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
Here are the incriminating words: fights, quarrels, battle, want, kill, covet, quarrel, fight, pleasures.
Not good. The messianic community had both the potential and the
evidence to be schismatic and seething in dissension within itself.
is a day of admission and confession, a day to admit that the church
has been like this, is like this, and will continue to be like this. We
must admit that we are part of this — and it doesn’t matter if you’d
like to jump ship, start up your own group, and get things right for
once. You and I are still a part of the Story called Church, and that
Story has ugliness.
Today, then, is a day of confession to God
and to one another that we are at fault, in word and deed and thought,
for dissension, for schism, and for ugly relations. Let us admit the realities and confess to God and to one another that we are sleeping in a bed of our own making.