It’s a great treat to be back here again and to sense that I am among friends both old and new. And it’s good for me, after some years of intensive work on St Paul, suddenly to be plunged into the Letter of James; a bit like the kind of Turkish bath where you get hotter and hotter and then suddenly somebody dumps a bucket of icy water over you.
James thinks in a different way to most other New Testament writers; and, equally importantly, he thinks in a different way from most of us. Our challenge again and again, reading this short and sharp letter, is to get not just our minds but our moral imagination around what he’s saying. And that’s what I propose we try to do this morning.