My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favouritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? For if a person with gold rings and in fine clothes comes into your assembly, and if a poor person in dirty clothes also comes in, and if you take notice of the one wearing the fine clothes and say, 'Have a seat here, please', while to the one who is poor you say 'Stand there', or 'Sit at my feet', have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? ......
You do well if you really fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, 'You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
(New Revised Standard Version)
We often see how people make judgements about one another - a young black man driving an expensive car must be a trouble-maker; a group of teenagers out late at night must be up to mischief. Just two examples of how we can make judgements before we're aware of the facts, and why 'Black lives matter' was established. The parable of the drag-net that we looked at recently The Kingdom of Heaven (5) reminds us that it's not our job to make judgements about others.
The Epistle of St James, is thought by most scholars to be the earliest book in the New Testament, but which James actually wrote it is less easy to decide - the brother of Jesus, or one of the two apostles named James? It was written for Jewish-Christians in those early days, 15-20 years after the death of Jesus.
2,000 years ago men and women didn't obey the commandment to love one another either. But if we love our 'neighbour' as ourself, then we must refrain from making judgements about them. Colour, creed, age, sex, life-styles, all these are subjects which our world loves to critique. Jesus called His followers to treat all people as we would wish to be treated.
You know our frailties
Help us not to make judgements
about other people,
but to treat others
as we would wish to be treated.