This Sunday I will be finishing my sermon series on the book of James, and, Lord willing, will begin a series on Jonah on October 26th. Pastor Funk will be continuing his series on Colossians (the Supremacy of Jesus) during the two Sundays of October 12 and 19th. As for James . . . 108 verses in this book. 59 imperatives/commands, which, if you are counting, makes up half the book! James is earnest. Yet, he closes his book with grace, with a call to the church, that each of us would look out for one another, to save each other from death, from our sin and straying. Of course, only God can save, but He does use us as His agents to extend His grace. As for the Old Testament book of Jonah . . ., this is a book I have read a number of times, but am excited to be able to preach it soon. Jonah reminds me, sadly (!), of myself in so many ways. He also sort of reminds me of the older brother in Jesus’s parable on the lost sons in Luke chapter 15. We religious types often have strong opinions (spoken or not), on who “deserves” the grace and mercy of the Father. Like Jonah, I really like grace/mercy when it is given to me (Jonah 4:6), but get very annoyed at God when He shows grace and mercy to the “undeserving”. Jesus’s parable of the workers in the vineyard is quite instructive along these lines as well. Lord, truly, have mercy on me, your oft-too religious servant, to be free and joyful in not only receiving your mercy, but to judge less, those whom I deem “unworthy”. . . . Sigh . . . as if “worthiness” was ever a criteria for you kindness.