This week we consider a big chunk of Scripture, looking at Ecclesiastes 5:8-6:9. We learn that we should not be surprised to see injustice and oppression in this life. Ecclesiastes warns us that living for things that only money can buy is vanity. Power and wealth is not enough for a satisfying life that really matters! Ecclesiastes tells us that we must learn to enjoy what God has provided, rejoicing in the life he gives—a life where he is at the center. A life lived with God is a life that is satisfied in God!
Daily needs and desires point beyond themselves to God's promise of the kingdom in which death and sorrow will be no more. The promise of the kingdom includes our daily needs and desires, and this prayer asks for our desires to be satisfied in God's way and God's time. This prayer urges us to pray with the wider Christian family, and human family, standing alongside the hungry and praying on their behalf. It is a prayer for the complete fulfillment of God's kingdom: for God's people to be rescued from hunger, guilt and fear.
James continues to encourage God's people to become "perfect and complete" (1:4), wholehearted in their devotion to God as they love others, especially the poor. In this section James teaches that followers of the "Lord Jesus Christ" (2:1) will not show favoritism, for faith in Christ is in no way compatible with partiality toward others. Real faith fights against prejudice. Real faith produces self-giving love. The Christian community is under the "law of liberty" and now free to demonstrate equalizing love in a world that thrives on status and privilege. In addition, the people of God are to be known for their solidarity with the poor and vulnerable, showing utter dependence on God in a world of self-sufficiency.